Around 570 BC
Height: 1.65 m
Base dimensions: 0.45 x 0.21 x 0.25 m
Marble from Hymettos and limestone
Archaic Acropolis Gallery
Statue of a man, nowadays, known as the "Calf-Bearer". The body was found in 1864 during construction works for the old Acropolis Museum, while the base with the feet was discovered in the same area in 1887.
It depicts a bearded man carrying on his shoulders a calf, his offering to the goddess Athena. He is wearing a thin himation covering his shoulders but leaving the front of his body exposed. Most likely his himation was originally painted, easily distinguishing it from his flesh. On his head, a band secures his long hair. His face remains expressive, even though the irises of his eyes, originally made from a different material, are lost. His lips form the well-known "archaic smile", a reserved, almost amused expression. He is holding the small animal by the feet as the animal's head tilts towards his master's head, and its tail rests on his arm.
On the statue's base there is an inscription written from right to left which informs us that the statue was dedicated by Rhombos, son of Palos. It is believed that the statue depicts Rhombos himself, a wealthy Athenian who had the money to dedicate something as expensive as a marble statue on the Acropolis. The motif of a man carrying an animal is frequent in small bronze figurines but this is the first time, as far as we know, that it is used on a large scale marble statue.
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