Hellenistic Marble Head of Zeus
Zeus’ imposing presence was felt throughout Ancient Greece as evidenced by the many sculptures and paintings of his image that make up the region’s archaeological record. This white marble sculpture of Zeus dates from Greece’s Hellenistic period of approximately 300-200 B.C.E., a time when Greek sculpture had entered a Classical period defined by its rigid poses and severe features. This figure’s lush hair, parted lips, and strong brow show the emphasis placed on such stylized details during Greece’s Classical period.
This sculpture is a highly realistic representation of Zeus, and it may be that the sculptor based this image on someone he knew from his everyday life. This sculpture is a breathtaking example of the technical skill and detailed eye of Greece’s celebrated sculptors. The piece has been restored to reveal the sculpture’s original power, although the body has been lost to history’s vagaries.