Socrates

Hellenistic

replica: from the British Museum, London

date of the original: c. 200 BC - AD 100 

provenance of the original: Alexandria, Egypt; now in the British Museum, London

description: Togate statuette. Resin replica (on wooden base), with granular finish on skin; marble original. The original is a small-scale Roman copy of an earlier Greek portrait statue (c. 399 BC). On base: height 31.5 cm, width 11.5 cm, depth 6 cm.

This is not a faithful portrait of the great philosopher. The statuette, a small-scale Roman copy of an imagined Greek portrait, is eminently “psychological” with many hints to Socrates’ features about which the sculptor had probably heard only oral testimonies.

It expresses adequately the idea we have of Socrates. If the subject of the statuette were not known, it would still be recognized as a psychological portrait.