||The Azara herm is a Roman copy of
a bust of Alexander
that was almost certainly made by the Greek sculptor Lysippus. It is the
only portrait of the Macedonian
king of which we know that it was ordered by Alexander himself. In his
of Alexander, Plutarch
of Chaeronea says that
the outward appearance of Alexander is best represented by
the statues of him which Lysippus made, and it was by this artist alone
that Alexander himself thought it fit that he should be modelled. For those
peculiarities which many of his successors
and friends afterwards tried to imitate, namely, the poise of the neck,
which was bent slightly to the left, and the melting glance of his eyes,
this artist has accurately observed.
The Azara herm itself is now in the Louvre in Paris, unfortunately placed
in front of a window, so that it is very difficult to make adequate photos.
Yet is is clear that the sculptor did not idealize the king; it is the
only portrait that represents what Alexander really looked like.
[Plutarch, Alexander 4;
tr. Bernadotte Perrin]