Greek Marble Head of Herakles
An ancient Greek marble head of a Herakles, perhaps representing a Ptolemaic king as the hero, with curled locks, deep set eyes and a thick brow.
The Ptolemaic kings were Macedonians who ruled in Egypt during the Hellenistic period. The Ptolemaic dynasty was the last dynasty of ancient Egypt, and was established in 305 BC, when one of Alexander the Great's generals, Ptolemy, became Ptolemy I of Egypt. As Macedonians, the Ptolemies identified Herakles as their divine ancestor and often depicted themselves in his guise.
For an example of a Ptolemaic king with the attributes of Herakles, see a bronze statuette in the British Museum, inv. no. 1824,0446.13.
Formerly in a New York private collection, since the 1940s.