Alexander the Great, known as Guimet's Alexander
Asia Minor (?), Alexandrian style
2 nd century BC
Marble 6 x 23 cm
Paris, The Louvre Museum, Department of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities.
(Inv. MA 3499)
We know the important role the portrait played in the propaganda devised by men of power as early as the beginning of the 4th century BC.
Alexander in particular cultivated his glory, personally selecting the artists who were allowed to depict him. The effect produced by the intensity of his expression was no small factor in the fascination he exercised over those who approached him.
But in addition to the portraits executed at his demand, are many others, which Alexander's great destiny continued to generate well after his death.
This representation of Alexander as a boy is one; it belonged to Emile Guimet's personal collection and must have been sculpted in the 2nd century BC.
The technique argues for an Alexandrian origin. The head is idealised, but we recognised the prince from the arrangement of the hair, even if the style is softened; as is typical, the cowlicks and central curls on the upper forehead are carelessly tossed backward.