The identity of the person represented by the Head of a Man is unknown because the inscription is lost; however, he lived during the Ptolemaic dynasty, which was founded by one of Alexander the Great's generals. The man was likely an important leader, perhaps a priest or a general, and had himself portrayed with strength and self-assurance.
Artist Egyptian
Title
  • Head of a Man
Date between 200 and 150 BCE
Medium Carved stone
Dimensions Overall (sculpture): 3 1/2 × 2 1/2 × 3 9/16 inches (8.9 × 6.4 × 9 cm)
Mount (base): 2 3/4 × 2 3/8 × 2 1/2 inches (7 × 6 × 6.4 cm)
Including base: 6 1/4 × 2 1/2 × 3 9/16 inches (15.9 × 6.4 × 9 cm)
Credit Line City of Detroit Purchase
Accession Number 40.48
Department Africa, Oceania & Indigenous Americas
On View Egyptian: Daily Reverences, Level 1 (see map)
Howard Carter (London, England);
1940-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Bulletin of the DIA 20, no. 5 (February 1941): p. 50.

Bothmer, Bernard V. "The signs of Age," Bulletin of the Museum of Fine Arts, vol. 49, no. 277 (October 1951): p. 74 [column 1, footnote 2].

Egyptian Sculpture of the Late Period 700 B.C. to A.D. 100. Exh. cat., Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn, October 18, 1960-January 9, 1961. Reprint, 1973, pp. 143-144, no. 111, pl. 102-103, (fig. 274-275, 277-278) [as "Portrait Head with Hooked Nose"].

"Family Art Game," Detroit News/Detroit Free Press (April 18, 1982): p. 30 (ill.). [DIA Advertising Supplement].

"Family Art Game," Detroit Free Press (May 18, 1986): p. 28 (ill.). [DIA Advertising Supplement].

Cleopatra's Egypt: Age of the Ptolemies. Exh. cat., Brooklyn Museum, DIA, Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung. Brooklyn, 1988, cat. no. 00; p. 132, (ill.); color pl. VII; cat. no. 37.

ESLP. p. 142, 143-144, 150, 156, 165, 166; pl. 102-103, (fig. 74-275, 277-278); cat. no. 111.

Peck. 1981, pp. 65-7.

James, T. G. H. Howard Carter: the Path to Tutankhamun. London, 1982, p. 373.

Peck. 1983, pp. 4-5.

Peck. 1991b, pp. 17, 22 (ill.).

Peck. 1991a, pp. 16, 19, 68 (ill.).

Peck. 1991c, p. 81.

Carter. [illustration and caption] p. 177. [Listed in Carter's will as "Black basalt portrait Headof an Official, Saite, 3 1/2" high 15.0.0", p. 182].

Detroit, 1995, p. 103.

Henshaw, Julia P., ed. A Visitors Guide: The Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 1995, p. 103 (ill.).

Romano, James F. In the Fullness of Time. Hallie Ford Museum of Art. 2002, p. 66.

Peck, William H. “Archaeology and the Detroit Institute of Arts,” Bulletin of the DIA 79, no. 1/2 (2005): 8, (fig. 6).