Portrait of Menander Artist: Unknown

3rd century B.C. (original); 1st–2nd century A.D. (copy)

Ancient Art

On view, 1st floor, Ancient Art

Menander, the leading figure in Greek New Comedy—a phase of comedic theater extending from the late fourth to the mid-third century B.C.—attained even greater renown in the Roman period. More than sixty known Roman marble portrait heads representing Menander can be traced back to a seated statue of the playwright erected in the Theater of Dionysos in Athens in the early third century B.C. An inscribed base for this statue, discovered near the Theater, gives the names of the sculptors as Kephisodotos and Timarchos, sons of Praxiteles, one of the greatest of all Greek sculptors. Menander wears an unusual hairstyle, with the hair brushed forward on one side, back on the other, and horizontally across the top of his head.




38.1 × 25.4 cm, 31.75 kg (15 × 10 in., 70 lb.)

Credit Line

Stephen Carlton Clark, B.A. 1903, Fund

Accession Number



1st–2nd century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Collection of Sir Thomas Robinson, Rokeby Hall, Yorkshire. Royal Athena Galleries, New York: Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., acquired from the above, 1994.
Believed to have been found in Italy.

  • "Acquisitions, January 1994–December 1995," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (1995–96): 152, 155, ill.
  • Gisela Marie Augusta Richter, Portraits of the Greeks, 3 volumes (London: Phaidon Press, 1965), vol. 2, pp 224–236; figs. 1514–1643.

Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

busts (sculpture), human figures (visual works), portraits

Technical metadata and APIs


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