No image available

Head of a Horseman (known as the de Nion Head)

Head of a Horseman (known as the de Nion Head)

550–540 BC


Overall: 24.1 x 15.5 x 19.5 cm (9 1/2 x 6 1/8 x 7 11/16 in.)

Anonymous Loan 24.2011



Sensitively carved with great respect for pattern and symmetry, this remarkably well preserved head likely comes from a nearly life-size Archaic equestrian sculpture, indicated by its slight turn to the left. Because very few such sculptures survive, their original purpose remains uncertain. They perhaps honored a member of the horse-owning aristocracy or an equestrian victory, or they represented a mythological figure such as Poseidon, a son of Theseus, or one of the twin half-brothers Kastor or Polydeukes. Traces of red in the eyes’ irises and on the hair, beard, and upper lip indicate paint was used for many details, now mostly lost and faded from originally darker colors.

See also
GR - Greek
Greek and Roman Art
Type of artwork: 
Credit line: 
Anonymous Loan

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.