Head of Mars

Roman 

c. 2nd Century AD

Roman sculpture reached its most massive scale during the second century A.D., when enormous statues were created to adorn public buildings such as baths, theaters, and temples. This over-life-size head once belonged to a monumental statue of Mars, the Roman god of war, who is commonly associated with the Greek god Ares. Here the stern-faced deity wears a magnificent helmet decorated with griffins, fantastical winged beasts associated with Nemesis, the goddess of revenge. On each cheek guard is an image of Cupid, the god of desire, carrying a spear and shield. In Roman religion, Mars was closely associated with Cupid’s mother, Venus (the Greek Aphrodite), the goddess of love. 

Source: Art Institute Chicago

Notes

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