The Face of Hephaestion: An Artistic Reconstruction

Discuss Alexander's generals, wives, lovers, family and enemies

Moderator: pothos moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
Jeanne Reames
Pezhetairos (foot soldier)
Posts: 137
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:44 am

Re: The Face of Hephaestion: An Artistic Reconstruction

Post by Jeanne Reames »

These reconstructions are kinda cool. Unfortunately, in this case, they picked a very dubious statue. It's the one in the Getty, which 1) is quite possibly a forgery, and 2) isn't named. It might be Hephaistion, or it might just be "some guy" (e.g., a heroized young man).

I wish we had more certain statues of him. The only named statue is the votive dedication found in Pella, "to the Hero Hephaistion." He's got a very different look there. But I have my doubts if that's really a likeness.

Both tombstones and dedicatory (and later sarcophagae) would be carved in advance, and had very stereotypical poses (depending on the era). The bereaved, or those who wished to make a dedication, would tour the workshop and pick one they liked. Sometimes the face was left unfinished, to be personalized on demand--but not always. Sometimes just the name was added.

Ergo, with a dedicatory statue, it might not be what Hephaistion actually looked like. *sigh*

I know the specialists tend to name the Prado Bronze Demetrios Poliorketes these days, but I don't quite see the resemblance to known statues of D.P., so I still cling to the possibility it's Hephaistion. Ha. I just wish we knew better where it came from. That would be a big clue.
Dr. Jeanne Reames
Director, Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Graduate Studies Chair
University of Nebraska, Omaha
287 ASH; 6001 Dodge Street
Omaha NE 68182
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2022 9:07 pm

Re: The Face of Hephaestion: An Artistic Reconstruction

Post by Sweetmemory41 »

Thank you, Dr. Reames! It is sad that we don’t have a definite Hephaestion.

I am thinking about commissioning artistic reconstructions using artificial intelligence (AI) of all eight likenesses of Hephaestion that Andrew Chugg provides in his book titled ‘Alexander’s Lovers.’ This type of commission can get really pricey if you want a multidisciplinary team of experts, including historians, art historians, and machine learning experts, working on it. On the other hand, you can get something more reasonable if it is just an AI job.
Post Reply