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Medallion Portrait of Menander (4th century CE)

For Artwork in Focus we explore individual artworks, critiquing their style and discussing their socio-political context. Today we look at Medallion Portrait of Menander (4th century CE).

About the Work

Title : Medallion Portrait of Menander
Year : 4th century CE
Medium : Marble
Dimensions : 55 cm h x 48 cm w x 23 cm d (21 5/8 x 18 7/8 x 9 1/16 in.)
Location : Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Who was Menander?

Menander was a Greek dramatist – the most famous of his time. According to historic record, Menander was a follower of Aristotle, and a student of  Theophrastus. An ancient award winning writer, his works were later adapted by other Roman writers, including Platus.

According to the digital catalogue of the Harvard Art Museums :

“Menander, complete with dramatic scroll in the background, would have stood out for his urbane and vigorous features, and his clean-shaven chin would have contrasted with the beards of his more serious companions.”

Some of Menander’s best works include Dyscolus, PerikeiromenÄ“ and Second Adelphoe.

Other Details

Medallion Portrait of Menander is housed in the Harvard Art Museums in Room 3400. It is part of the museum’s collection of the North Arcade. The piece has been housed at the Fogg Art Museum since 1991.

To learn more about iconic artworks and their socio-political context, visit Artwork in Focus.

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