About This Artwork


Head of a Bearded Man, 5th century BC

29.2 x 20.3 x 26 cm (11 1/2 x 8 x 10 1/4 in.)

Robert A. Waller Fund, 1926.437

This limestone head from the island of Cyprus has features that are common to marble sculptures carved in Greece before 500 B.C. These include almond-shaped eyes, the ringlets framing his upper face, the rows of snail-shell curls stacked in layers to form his beard, which juts out from his chin, and a faint smile. Located in the eastern Mediterranean off the coast of Asia, Cyprus was a major center of maritime commerce. Along with goods, ideas were also exchanged there. The sculptor of this head may have visited Greece or otherwise known about earlier Greek art, which inspired this sculpture.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

The Art Institute of Chicago, The Human Figure in Early Greek Art, A Preview Part I, Gallery 101A, September 1, 1988-September 24, 1989.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Ancient Art Galleries, Gallery 155, April 20, 1994-February 6, 2012.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Of Gods and Glamour: The Mary and Michael Jaharis Galleries of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Art, Gallery 151, November 11, 2012-September 13, 2016.

Publication History

Karen B. Alexander, "From Plaster to Stone: Ancient Art at the Art Institute of Chicago," in Recasting the Past: Collecting and Presenting Antiquities at the Art Institute of Chicago, by Karen Manchester (Art Institute of Chicago/Yale University Press, 2012), p. 31.

Art Institute of Chicago, "Accessions and Loans," Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 20, 6 (September 1926), p. 85

H. F. M., "A Limestone Cypriote Head," Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 20, 7 (October 1926), p. 99.

Interpretive Resources

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