La Head of the Philosopher of Porticello, preserved today in the underwater archeology section of the Archaeological Museum of Reggio Calabria, is a bronze sculpture dating back to the 5th century BC. found in the 1969 in the sea of Porticello, in front of the waters of the Strait of Messina.
The head had to belong to a whole statue, as evidenced by the discovery of a part of the right knee also found together with the head and a piece of mantle.
The standing position of the old man is demonstrated by the right knee which has been preserved together with a broad strip of the short cloak typical of Greek scholars and philosophers, draped obliquely from the left shoulder to the hips.
There are no elements to precisely identify the old man in Porticello's portrait: he could be a man of letters or a thinker, but the appellation often used as a "philosopher" is to be understood in a conventional way.
The careful and meticulous indication of the details of the Head of the Philosopher of Porticello, more characteristic of the face, with the asymmetries and irregularities typical of each individual physiognomy, makes this statue a true portrait, that is a type of representation that remained for a long time foreign to the conceptions of Greek figurative art. It derives a particular interest that leads to deepen both historical and artistic studies on the Philosopher of Porticello.
Someone identifies in this bronze statue the figure of Hesiod, a famous Greek philosopher of the fifth century BC, in fact the mantle draped over his shoulders, which is found a substantial piece, and the tapeworm that is found on the head would leave no doubt about the activity of the character of Porticello.
Today the Head of Philosopher of Porticello is exhibited in the 3 room in the basement of the Archaeological Museum of Reggio Calabria, site where a specific section of underwater archeology has been created from 1981, where finds from the sea are supported, including a long series of amphorae and ceramic pots and above all the famous Bronzi di Riace.
Address: Reggio Calabria Archaeological Museum, Piazza Giuseppe De Nava 26 - 89123 Reggio Calabria
Phone: 0965 898272