20140729 AthenianHero by Cosmo Wenman
“Did I ever tell you about the time I designed a uniform for tank crewmen? It was green leather, it had red stripes, and a row of brass buttons down across here. And topped off by a gold football helmet. The Army rejected it, of course. Goddamn, it was beautiful.”—Patton

This is my 3D capture of the Skulpturhalle Basel’s plaster cast of the Capitoline Museum’s 2nd-century BC marble Testa Virile Elmata (“Manly Helmeted Head”).

It is not clear who, if anyone, is represented here. Ennio Quirino Visconti identified it as a portrait of Miltiades. The Capitoline Museum says it may be a strategist, or even Mars. In 1892, Wolfgang Helbig wrote “this seems to be, not a portrait, but an ideal type either of Ares or of some hero.”

His Attic-style helmet is emblazoned with a fourteen-point star, curling vines, a lion, a bull, a sphinx, and griffons, so we know—whoever he was—the dude meant business.

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