Head of a statue of Alexander the Great

It was found in 1886 near the Erechtheion on the Acropolis. Alexander the Great is portrayed at a young age, as he would have been during his sole visit to Athens, after the battle of Chaironeia in 338 BC.

The deep set eyes, the upward glance, the half-open lips as well as the characteristic hairstyle, with rich curls standing up over the forehead, the anastoli, are all typical features of Alexander. Red paint surviving in some areas of the hair was most probably the base-coat for the curls's final, golden hue; whereas the way the locks are formed at the back of the head suggests that the head was adorned either by a wreath or a band rendered in some other material that has not survived.

The statue is considered to be an original work of Leochares, who also made other portraits of Alexander at the Pan-Hellenic sanctuaries at Olympia and Delphi. However, opinions about the dating of the sculpture differ, and according to some scholars, it should be dated in the 2nd cent. BC.


he Acropolis Museum