A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT BUST OF EPIKOUROS
PROPERTY ACQUIRED BY MARTIN ARMSTRONG FOR PRINCETON ECONOMICS
A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT BUST OF EPIKOUROS

CIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D.

Details
A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT BUST OF EPIKOUROS
CIRCA 1ST CENTURY A.D.
The aged philosopher wearing a himation wrapped around his shoulders and right side, the deeply-rendered folds crossing his right pectoral, his head turned slightly to his left, with a high square forehead, a furrowed brow and a prominent nose, his eyes deeply set for now-missing inlays, with drooping upper lids, a thick moustache and a full wavy beard covering his upper lip and jaw, his hair in two layers of long overlapping comma-shaped locks, the back summarily carved
10½ in. (26.2 cm.) high
Provenance
Private Collection, U.S., acquired between 1950-1995.
with Hesperia, New York, 1995 (From a North American Collection of Ancient Art, front cover.)
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, New York, 8 December 1995, lot 98.

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Lot Essay

Born in 341 B.C., probably in Samos, Epikouros studied and taught philosophy across the Greek world before establishing his school in Athens. For 36 years, he lived, studied and wrote there, isolated from the outside world except for his students and his scholarship. Both his work and his appearance were recognized throughout Roman times. As Cicero notes, his friend Titus Pomponius Atticus "could not forget Epikouros even if he wanted; the members of our body not only have pictures of him, but even have his likeness on their drinking cups and rings," (De finibus bonorum et malorum, V,i,3).
Portraits of Epikouros share the elongated head, the bulbous nose, the weathered face and the full beard. For similar portraits in the Capitoline Museum and the National Museum, Naples, see nos. 77-78 in Richter, The Portraits of the Greeks.

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