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Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Statuette of Helios, the sun god

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Helios is conceived in terms of the image of Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.); the sun god is young and beardless but powerful, with a lion-like mane of hair. Like Alexander, he was imagined as fast-moving and far-seeing. Beams of light, of which only one remains, originally radiated from...

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By date unknown: possibly from Asia Minor; said to have belonged to a Greek family of Smyrna that migrated to England (other works in the family's collection said to have been found with Helios: bronze statuettes of Hygieia, Isis, and Asklepios - the latter was the cover illustration of Sotheby's, NY, auction catalogue of 29 Nov. 1989); date unknown: probably with Torkom Demirjian, Ariadne Gallery, 970 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10021; by 1989, collection of Lawrence and Barbara Fleischman, New York; by 1995: with Sotheby's, 1334 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021 (auction, December 8, 1995, lot 100, cover illustration of the auction catalogue); purchased by MFA from Sotheby's as an unsold lot, December 13, 1995; purchase confirmed by MFA trustees, January 24, 1996

Credit Line

Frank B. Bemis Fund, William E. Nickerson Fund, Otis Norcross Fund and Helen B. Sweeny Fund

Roman Provincial, Imperial Period, Antonine, about A.D. 150–190

Place of Manufacture

Asia Minor


18.9 cm (7 7/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique



The Ancient World