Rampin Head

Archaic Greek

replica: from the Louvre, Paris

date of the original: c. 560-520 BC 

provenance of the original: found in 1877 on the Acropolis, Athens; now in the Louvre, Paris

description: Head of a man from an equestrian statue. Intricate hair and beard, perhaps Mesopotamian influence. Right cheek and nose damaged. (The torso and horse thought to belong to the head are in the Acropolis Museum, Athens.) Resin replica; Hymettos marble original. Height 29 cm, width 20 cm, depth 20 cm.

This head of an equestrian statue was discovered on the Acropolis of Athens in the early nineteenth century and bought by the French diplomat Rampin, whence the name. Practically contemporaneous with the Kouros of Paros, it is a more expert work as is shown by the finer modelling of the face and the highly elaborate hairdo accomplished with an expert punch and chisel.

The Archaic Smile, as it is called, is an artistic convention, a solution for the problem of producing a natural mouth in proper perspective to a narrow face. The Paros Kouros has the same smile, but to a lesser degree, thanks to his oval face.