Aristaeus was the divine son of the god Apollo and the nymph Cyrene. He was known in the ancient world as the founder and patron deity of the city of Cyrene in Libya, a Greek colony in North Africa. This head, from a colossal statue, portrays the god with a rather bland face surrounded by tousled asymmetrical curls, which are given dramatic life by being carved in high relief. On Aristaeus's head is a mural crown—a round flat-topped headdress with four vertical raised strips, perhaps intended to represent the defensive towers of the city walls. The enormous statue could have stood in a temple in Cyrene dedicated to Aristaeus.
Artist Roman
Artist after Greek
  • Roman Head of a Male Deity, Perhaps Aristaeus
Date 2nd Century AD
Medium marble
Dimensions 24 x 14 x 16 in. (61 x 35.6 x 40.6 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, General Membership Fund
Accession Number 41.9
Department Greco-Roman and Ancient European
Not On View
DIA BULLETIN, vol 20, no 8, 1941, p 73 (ill).

An Obsession With Fortune:Tyche In Greek And Roman Art. Yale University Art Gallery (Sept. 1 - Dec. 31, 1994) #35, p. 113; illus. fig.14, p. 29; also p. 28 and note 48 on p. 33. Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin 1994.

A Visitors Guide: The Detroit Institute of Arts, ed. Julia P. Henshaw (Detroit 1995), p. 112 (ill.)