Alexander's physical appearence

Discuss the culture of Alexander's world and his image in art

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Theseus
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Post by Theseus »

Thanks, I knew it was made after his death, but couldn't off the top of my head think of the year. :oops: I had to run and look in one of my books and it had some information on it. It says "Roman copy from Pompeii of an original Greek painting by Philoxenus." There is a site that has a picture of the mosaic and description. http://atgspot.com/alex_web/pages/alxphoto.htm I thought you may be interested in seeing it.
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Vergina Sun
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Post by Vergina Sun »

Theseus wrote:Thanks, I knew it was made after his death, but couldn't off the top of my head think of the year. :oops: I had to run and look in one of my books and it had some information on it. It says "Roman copy from Pompeii of an original Greek painting by Philoxenus." There is a site that has a picture of the mosaic and description. http://atgspot.com/alex_web/pages/alxphoto.htm I thought you may be interested in seeing it.
It's okay, I'm always forgetting things too. :)
The website was very interesting. I always realized that there were many tesserae, but didn't know there were over one and a half million. I also like how the author states that there were two protagonists in the picture: Alexander and Darius. In the end, we have to agree that Darius was just fighting for his country - making him a protagonist as well, I guess.
Alita
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Post by Alita »

(Btw, just received "The True Story of Alexander the Great" DVD in the mail from Amazon. About to put it on to watch it; very excited! :D ).
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frompella
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Re: Alexander's physical appearence

Post by frompella »

Hello. I have long been fascinated by Alexander, and I read this forum for a long time, but didn't dare to write. Firstly my English is not very good. Secondly, I didn't think that I had something interesting to bring here. There are so many experts of Alexander here that I was unwittingly embarrassed by my own knowledge. I was always interested to know how Alexander looked like. Without any reason, it always seemed to me that he was red-haired. Sometimes I think of lighter shade, sometimes darker, but still... So last night I decided to play a little with Photoshop, and that's what happened. I'm not an expert and it's the first time for me, so please have mercy. :oops: :wink:


Image

Image
Alexias
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Re: Alexander's physical appearence

Post by Alexias »

That's very good, and welcome! I think the idea of red-gold hair comes from Mary Renault.

(I've moved the whole topic to the Art and Culture board.)
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frompella
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Re: Alexander's physical appearence

Post by frompella »

Alexias wrote:That's very good, and welcome! I think the idea of red-gold hair comes from Mary Renault.

(I've moved the whole topic to the Art and Culture board.)
Thank you!)
But my opinion was not formed thanks to Mary Renault, that's for sure. I'm not her fan, to put it mildly. With all due respect to her, I can't read her trilogy about Alexander. I think it's more because of Plutarch's description of his skin as prone to redness. And I read somewhere that there were redheads in his family on his mother's side. Oh! And I was very impressed by the Sidonian sarcophagus. And Pella mosaics. There he, too, seems to be a redhead (if he IS one of the figures of course) So without any proof and reason, I have stopped on red hair of any shade, from red-gold, to red-brown. :oops:
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delos13
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Re: Alexander's physical appearence

Post by delos13 »

Welcome, frompella! I like your photoshop result. One of the possible arguments for the reddish hair is the description of his hair as lionlike which can refer not only to the "mane" like hair but to the colour as well. :)
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Re: Alexander's physical appearence

Post by Alexias »

The notion of red-gold hair might come from the remnants of paint on ancient sculpture's hair. This is Roman from Herculaneum:
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It would be interesting to know if this red-brown colour is original, or whether the chemical composition of the paint has changed over time. Perhaps they didn't have brown paint, perhaps this colour signifies some status of the person represented.

This Roman image of Alexander from Pompeii also reputedly has red-gold hair (although it look more brown-gold)
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Alexander's eyes are shown as brown. I think they may have looked similar to the young Richard Hammond's (from Top Gear)

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