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Head of Hygeia

REF RB002025 EAN 3336721120596

 Head of Hygeia

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Head of Hygeia

This female head in Paros marble, found in Tegea in the Peloponnese, was considered for a long time to be that of a figure belonging to one of the pediments designed by Scopas for the temple of Athena Alea.

She used to be called Atalante, with the heroine of the boar hunt by Calydon in mind. The sculpture was later thought to be a statue by the same artist of Hygeia who, according to Pausanias, stood with Asclepios by the sides of the archaic effigy of Athena. All these theories have now been called into question. In fact, the ephemeral charm of the peaceful but sad face, with its noble and elongated oval shape gently inclined on a delicate neck, does not belong to the facial features typical of Scopas, dominated by energy and passion, in which a suffering expression is raised to heaven in supplication.

The admirable "harmonics" of this head seems to belong more to the Praxiteles school. The sweet yet firm expression has a touch of proud modesty which is a far cry from the sentimentality frequently seen in the works of mediocre imitators of the master's style.

On the contrary, this sculpture is a masterpiece of sober elegance in which the late Classic art had found an ideal - and rare - equilibrium between the expression of feelings and the purity of forms. The sculptor must have been a very talented artist who probably frequented the studio of Praxiteles, or of one of his sons, who at the end of the 4th century B.C. was able to revive the extraordinary distinction and well-known inspiration of the great works by the famous sculptor.

Reproduction in hand patinated resin

H. 41 L. 20 P. 25 cm
H. 16.1" W. 7.9" D. 9.8" - 20.7 lbs
15 x 15 x 15 cm
H. 5.9" W. 5.9" D. 5.9"
Base's material
Varnished stained oak
Piali, ancienne Tégée, Temple d'Aléa Athéna, fouilles Mandel (1900-1902), musée de Piali
Material of the original
4th century B.C.
Athènes - Musée national de Grèce
Woman, Greece
Art movement
Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities