Archaeological Museum of Bologna

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Collections / Sections / Greek collection

Bearded head depicting a Galatian or Giant

The sculpture depicts a figure facing left: his upturned eyes are set deeply beneath his furrowed brow, and there is a crease across his forehead. His parted mouth is encircled by a thick moustache and beard.

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The iconography of this piece evokes the vanquished figures that distinguished the art of Pergamum – one of the leading artistic centres of Asia Minor – during the 2nd century BC. These works depicted Galatians, the barbarians defeated by the Pergamene king Attalus I, as well as Giants, the figures in the extraordinary frieze of the Great Altar erected by Eumenes in 180 BC and now in Berlin.

Although the sculpture is a replica from the Roman period, it takes up the precepts of Pergamene Hellenistic culture and reproduces decorative elements designed to express powerful psychological tension: the deep-set eyes, the separate locks of thick hair and the mouth open in pain.

Provenance: University Collection (formerly the Marsili Collection)
Datation: Late 2nd century AD
Material: Marble; the nose is a modern restoration
Dimensions: height cm 22,5
Inventory #: G 1057

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Exhibition rooms | Rooms V and VI - Greek collection