Male figure (Bebenburg Youth)
Unknown artist, Greek
Male figure (Bebenburg Youth), 3rd century BCE
48.3 x 19.5 x 11.1 cm (19 x 7 11/16 x 4 3/8 inches)
Museum Appropriation Fund and Special Gift Fund 23.342
In ancient Greek art, a nude male figure is either a god or a divinely favored mortal. Without his identifying attributes, however, this one cannot be associated with a particular deity. Nude statues of mortals most often represent athletic victors or fallen soldiers as the generalized funereal symbols of victory over death. The Bebenburg Youth (named after a former owner) could have been a victor’s dedication to a god or a funeral statue from a tomb. The sculpture’s soft, blurred style appears frequently in Hellenistic art and creates an idealized look, quite appropriate to a divine or heroic subject.