Sculpture from Dura-Europos Returns to the Gallery

Sculpture from Dura-Europos Returns to the Gallery

Head of a Bearded Male Figure, probably a God, Syrian, Dura-Europos, 1st century A.D. Limestone with traces of pigment. Yale University Art Gallery, Yale-French Excavations at Dura-Europos

A recent reorganization of the Mary and James Ottaway Gallery of Ancient Dura-Europos allowed for the installation of several works of art that had been on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Some of these objects were on view in the Met’s spring 2019 exhibition The World between Empires: Art and Identity in the Ancient Middle East; others had been on loan since as early as 1999. One sculpture now back at the Gallery after many years at the Met is the small, exquisitely carved head of a bearded god. The extraordinary amount of pigment preserved on the eyes, eyebrows, and lips lend it a vibrancy that is often lost in ancient sculptures that no longer retain their original colors. The small scale of the head belies its commanding presence; the sculpture immediately projects a sense of energy and vitality. Other newly installed works of art include an exceptional relief sculpture of Hercules with a club and lionskin as well as a rare Roman legionary shield (scutum).

Learn more about the ancient art collection

Lisa R. Brody

Associate Curator of Ancient Art