The Diadoumenos


The Diadoumenos was a bronze sculpture produced by the ancient Greek sculptor Polykleitos around 420 BC. The sculpture shown in the adjoining photograph is of a marble copy produced in the 1st century BC.


The Diadoumenos derives its name from the action taken by the figure, he is tying a victory ribbon or diadem around his head. As was the case with Polykleitos’ other sculpture, the Doryphoros, the original Diadoumenos no longer survives. The sculptural copy shown here was found in The House of the Diadoumenos on the Greek island of Delos in 1890. Interestingly, it was not until 1878 that the Diadoumenos type was reconnected to Polykleitos. Copies of this figure can also be seen in the MET in New York, The Prado in Madrid and the British Museum in London.

The figure adopts the same chiastic stance seen in Polykleitos’ earlier work, the Doryphoros. However, the musculature and proportions of the figure are more developed. Furthermore, the composition of opposites seen in the Doryphoros are developed upon in the Diadoumenos, as the torso is twisting and the arms are flexing in opposing ways.

Did you known?

Some of the sculptural copies have different diadems. The copy in Athens (adjacent photograph) shows a carved depiction of a cotton fillet or diadem. However, the copy in the Barracco Museum in Rome would have had a separate piece attached to the sculpture by means of dowels. Additionally, a metal diadem was placed on the sculpture, which was the case for the copy from Vaison in the British Museum.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *