Helmeted Head

Inv. Scu 581

Male head, wearing a richly decorated Attic style helmet, with a star with fourteen points above the forehead and animals (lion, bull, sphinx and griffin) on the top and back. Between the animals runs an elegant floral motif.

Slight asymmetries in the features and the beard indicate that the head was originally turned to the left and the present position (on a non pertinent neck) is the result of a modern restoration. While the original Greek model for this statue is to be found in Attic works dating between 440 and 430 BC, the identity of the character depicted is still uncertain. It could be a portrayal of a Greek strategos, such as Conon or Militiades, or the representation of Mars, god of war, that is however usually beardless in Classic iconography.
Stylistic and technical features, such as the limited use of the drill, allow to date the work to the end of the first century AD.
The provenience is unknown; the assumption that it was found at Ardea and acquired by Clement XI for his Museo Ecclesiastico is to be excluded .