COLOSSAL HEAD OF HERA (140-150 A.D.)
The goddess has a broad forehead, made triangular in shape by a frame of large tresses of hair separated by deeply sculpted waves and kept in place by a hairband. Her face is elon¬gated by her rounded chin.. Above her large eyes, her eyebrows are regular,
while the upper lip of her half-open mouth is arched, the lower one pro-truding. The forms of her nose, mouth and chin give her face a severe aspect, which the smooth complexion transforms into an expression of spiritual pensiveness. The present head is a Neo-Attic work, deriving from models of the 5th century B.C., but it is also influenced by 4th-century and Hellenistic sculpture, as may deduced from comparisons with works ranging from the Colonna Artemis (salone, nos. 2b, 23b) to the Venus de Milo.
The plinth comprises a fragment of the right side of a garland sarcophagus that, in the 19th century, was cut into smaller slabs to be attached to the plinths of statues in this hall (nos. 4b, 18b) and room VIII (3b, 17c). The pre¬sent section is practically filled by a large garland of fruit and flowers, above which is a griffin, with a lion’s head and fish’s tail, facing towards the left.