Statue, National Museum of Iran 2401
The Statue of Parthian Noble Man, National Museum of Iran 2401 is one of the main surviving works of Parthian art. It is currently in the National Museum of Iran and was found at Shami (modern Khūzestān Province), where there was an ancient sanctuary.
The bronze statue is 1.94 m high. The man depicted is shown frontally. The figure's head is slightly too small in relation to the rest of its body and the face has a plain, unmodelled surface with an aquiline nose. The man bears a short beard and a heavy moustache, while his hair is long and covers the ears. Around the head he wears a wide ribbon. He wears a tunic with a V-shaped opening at the front and wears trousers. Around the neck he wears a necklace, perhaps a metal ring. The right hand and the entire left arm are missing. In Shami, however, there was found a bronze arm which might belong to this statue.
It is possible that the head and the body of the figure were crafted separately and put together in Shami, as the head is too small and made from a different type of bronze as to the rest of the statue.
The statue was found by local peasants but must have originally adorned a sanctuary at Shami, where several Hellenistic bronze statues were found. The statue depicts a noblemen from the Parthian Empire.
The statue is hard to date. Scholars have proposed various datings ranging from the 2nd century BC to the 2nd century AD.
- D. Schlumberger: L'Orient Hellenise, Paris 1970, p. 156-157
- Mathiesen: Sculpture in the Parthian Empire, p. 167, n. 11 (list of various datings)
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