Lot 8
  • 8

A Marble Head of Zeus, Eastern Mediterranean, Roman Imperial, 2nd Century A.D.

50,000 - 80,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • A Marble Head of Zeus, Eastern Mediterranean, Roman Imperial
  • marble
  • Height 9 1/4 in. 23.5 cm.
turned slightly to his left, his face with parted lips, eyes with incised irises and drilled pupils, and centrally-divided beard, his long deeply-drilled wavy hair parted in the center, tied in a diadem with large Herakles knot in back, and bound in a laurel wreath with oval medallion in front.


Raymond Thullier (1897-1993), chef and founder of the famous restaurant L'Oustaou de Baumanière, Les Baux-de-Provence, acquired in the 1960s or earlier
by descent to his son Jean-Michel Charial, Les Baux-de-Provence

Catalogue Note

For a related head of Zeus without a diadem see Richard Brilliant, Mythological Figures and Portraits: the Miller Collection of Roman Sculpture, Minneapolis, 2004, cat. no. 1.

The present head is unusual in that Zeus wears a wreath of laurel leaves rather than oak, one of his main attributes. The laurel wreath with central medallion is more commonly associated with portraits of emperors (cf. a relief depicting the triumph of Trajan found at Praeneste [N. Agnoli, Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Palestrina. Le sculture, Rome, 2002, 222 ff., no. III.5, fig. 5a-i, http://arachne.uni-koeln.de/item/objekt/39369], two portrait heads from Algeria [A. Ballu and R. Cagnet, Musée de Timgad, Paris, Leroux, 1903, pl. IV, no. 3], and Christie's, New York, June 8th, 2004, no. 69, cover lot).