This beautiful marble portrait is the Hellenistic depiction of the Greek goddess Artemis (whose Roman equivalent was Diana). She was the goddess of the wild, nature, hunting, chastity and in time, childbirth; and was the twin sister of Apollo, who was associated with art, poetry, love and the sun. The story of her birth recounts how at only a few days old, she helped her mother Leto deliver her twin brother. Her ancient cult remained incredibly popular, with many statues being created in dedication to her in various temples around the ancient world.
This delicate marble head has been elegantly and naturalistically carved from a superior quality white marble, which possesses an almost translucent appearance. Depicted with thick curls tied back into a low bun, soft features and a knowing gaze – it is one of the most iconic images of the ancient world. Bust portraits such as this were commonly used as small devotional aides, and it would have likely filled a niche in a house or place of worship.
 T. Fischer-Hansen & B. Poulsen; From Artemis to Diana: The Goddess of Man and Beast, Museum Tusculanum Press, 2009, p.414.
With Azeez Khayat, New York, since at least 1913.
Subsequently in the Collection of Albert Gallatin (1880-1965) acquired from the above in November 1913.
This head was shown to Professor Beazley in 1946.
Thence by descent to his son Mr James Gallatin in 1965.
Subsequently inherited by his wife, Mrs J. Gallatin.
Estate of Mrs J. Gallatin
Note on the Provenance
Albert Gallatin (1880-1965) was the son of Frederic Gallatin. He descends from the famous and distinguished Gallatin Family whose ancestry included Albert Gallatin (1761-1849), Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Jefferson and Madison as well as US Minister to France. He was also famously painted by Gilbert Stuart and Rembrandt Peale. His first cousin, Albert Eugene Gallatin (1881-1952), was a very notable painter and art collector who was also one of the founders of New York University. At NYU, A.E. Gallatin founded the Gallery of Living Art (renamed the Museum of Living Art in 1936), which was devoted exclusively to showing works by contemporary artists.
Albert Gallatin formed a collection of ancient Egyptian art which was sold to the Metropolitan Museum of Art after his death and the Met’s march 1967 bulletin was dedicated to the acquisition of Albert’s collection describing it as:
“the most important group of antiquities from ancient Egypt that the Museum has acquired since the final season of our Theban excavations in I936, and the most important purchase of its kind since 1926, when we obtained the Carnarvon Collection and accessioned the Treasure of the Three Princesse” – Henry G. Fischer (1923-2005), Curator of Egyptian Art, Metropolitan Museum.
Azeez Khayat (1875-1943), was born in Tyre, Lebanon (then Ottoman Syria) on January 1, 1875. He was an amateur archaeologist who excavated sites in Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and Greece. He an antiquities expert who made a living bringing many rare and important antique objects into the hands of serious collectors and museums. From 1903 he was also well known for selling antiquities through his own public auctions at The Fifth Avenue Art Galleries, 366 5th Avenue, New York City – “The Annual Sale of the Azeez Khayat Collection”. He also sold many collections of antiquities including some coins through Anderson Galleries, New York. In the New York City Directories from 1912 to 1949 his office was located at 366 5th Avenue.
Fogg Museum of Art, Boston, Ancient Art, 1954-1955.
Margaret Bieber, Arndt-Amelung, Bruckmann, Munich, 1938, no. 4491.
Fogg Museum of Art, Boston, Ancient Art, 1954-1955, no. 163.