Portraits

The identification of statues with individuals did not involve actual portraiture, rather than generic types (old, young, warrior, etc.), until the advanced Classical period. Even in the 5th century BC this was the usual practice, with minimal acknowledgement of individual features, except for one or two Early Classical portraits, and some work in other media (gems) in the East Greek world, where types other than the idealised realistic were adopted. Examples are the Themistocles head, and gems by the Chian engraver Dexamenos; while the poet Anacreon, dedicated on the Athenian Acropolis, is simply characterised as a bon viveur. (Until the advanced Hellenistic period portraits are of full figures, not heads alone, and except for some Hellenistic, almost all are known only from copies of the Roman period, when they were made for intellectual clients.)

Head of man on jasper gem
  • Head of a man, on a jasper gem, made by Dexamenos of Chios. 450-425 BC
Head of Themistocles
  • Head of Themistocles; copy of an original of 475-450 BC
Head of Pericles
  • Head of Pericles, by Cresilas. Copy of an original of about 425 BC
Portrait statue of Anacreon
  • Portrait of Anacreon; copy of an original of about 440 BC

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