This head is a version of the Resting Satyr by Praxiteles. As Pausanias (1.20.1) describes, "[The Street of the Tripod at Athens] also contains some really remarkable works of art. For there is a Satyr, of which Praxiteles is said to have been very proud. And once Phryne asked him for the most beautiful of all his works, and he agreed, love-like, to give it to her, but refused to say which he thought...So a slave rushed in with the news that fire had broken out in Praxiteles studio, and that most of his works were lost, though not all. Praxiteles immediately ran out through the doors and said that all his labor was wasted if indeed the flames had caught his Satyr and Eros" (p. 281 in Stewart, Greek Sculpture).
This head captures the beauty that Pausanias describes of Praxiteles' original work, highlighting the idealized nature typically portrayed in Roman marble sculpture of the 1st-2nd century A.D. Praxiteles chose to humanize the rustic fertility figure, associated with Dionysos and those who participate in wine-induced revelry, but left the pointed goat ears that identifies his bestial nature. For another Roman copy of the Resting Satyr, now in the Capitoline Museum, Rome, see no. 510 in Stewart, op. cit.