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Head of Zeus

Roman art

Second century A.D.
Room 56
Carrara marble
77 cm (height)
1914 n. 73

The head was brought to the Gallery in the late 1700s. We do not have any information as to where it was found or where it was kept before this time. The sculpture itself was restored by Innocenzo Spinazzi (1726-1798), who reconstructed the nose, the left brow, right cheekbone and upper lip. The imposing head is much like a prototype dating back to the 3rd-2nd centuries B.C. and used to depict the male divinities: Jupiter, Neptune and Serapis. The form used for the forehead and the arrangement of the beard makes the work similar to the Zeus of Otricoli (the best example of which can be seen in the Vatican Museums). The style used for the hair is not unlike the depiction of Serapis by Bryaxis, Greek sculptor from the mid 4th century B.C. The workmanship of the marble sets the piece to the Antonine period.


G. Mansuelli, Galleria degli Uffizi. Le sculture, vol. I, Roma 1958, p. 64, n. 42

Text by
Cristiana Barandoni
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