Roman Marble Portrait of the Comic Playwright Menander

Roman Marble Portrait of the Comic Playwright Menander

An ancient Roman marble portrait of Menander, the famous Athenian comic playwright of ca. 342-290 BC. He has short hair falling over his forehead, a strong angular jaw, and a wry smile.

Ca. late 1st century AD.
Height: 9 3/4 in. (25 cm).

Menander, an Athenian playwright, was one of the founders of the movement known as New Comedy. He wrote over 100 plays and was very popular in his time. His popularity increased centuries later in Rome where his work was highly regarded. None of his work has survived except in fragments and quotations of later writers. Among his popular maxims was, "Whom the Gods love, die young."

Published: W. R. Megow, Antiken aus Rheinischem Privatbesitz, Rheinisches Landesmuseum, (Bonn, 1973), no. 359, pl. 164.

Formerly in the Jovy collection, Cologne, 1960's or earlier, reputedly from Ostia.

Inv#: 6051

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