Portrait bust of Pericles, 2nd century CE Roman copy of a 5th century BCE Greek original, Marble
Height: 58.42 cm
The British Museum, London
As we saw with the statue of the Doryphoros earlier in this series, Greek bronze statues rarely survive, and are often only known to us because of Roman marble copies – like this one, a copy of a late 5th century BC bronze statue of Pericles attributed to the sculptor Kresilas. We can identify it as Pericles because of the Greek word inscribed beneath the bust: ΠΕΡΙΚΛΗΣ (Pericles). It was found at the Roman emperor Hadrian's villa in Tivoli, Italy. Hadrian was a notorious Hellenophile, and the presence of a bust of the most famous Athenian statesman in his country villa attests to his interest in modelling himself on his Greek forebears.