Fragment of a statue of Ares (Borghese type)

Alkamenes (5. Jh. v. Chr.) | Design


Slightly pensive and thoughtful, the otherwise so bloodthirsty god of war Ares looks to his right. On his head he wears a helmet decorated in relief, formerly crowned by a sphinx, over his broad chest hangs the sword band. Only the upper part of the sculpture has survived, which has been transformed into a bust. A tiny detail, namely the remnant of a thumb in his neck, reveals that his beloved, the beautiful goddess of love Aphrodite, once stood by his side and put her arm around him. The composition of the two statues of the gods as a couple, whose models go back to independently created statue types of classical times, is an invention of the Romans. It was very popular during the imperial period and could also be provided with portrait heads of well-off Romans and Roman women instead of the divine countenances of Mars and Venus. The most prominent lovers on Olympus, the lovely Aphrodite/Venus and the virile Ares/Mars, were used to portray female and male characteristics worthy of imitation.

Material & Technique
130/50 CE
Inventory number
Hm 091