Portrait bust of Plato.  The portrait show an older male with a beard, receding hair line, and wrinkles

Hellenistic. Cast of the original. Copy of a Greek original, possibly by Silanion, style of the 4th century BCE.


The 4th century BCE sculptor Silanion was known to have made an idealized portrait of the famed Greek philosopher, Plato. This copy may have been a liberal translation of that work.

Historical Context:

Plato (427 BCE – 348 BCE) was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, writer of philosophical dialogues and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science. As a student of Socrates, Plato and was as much influenced by his teacher’s thinking as by his apparently unjust execution.

Plato’s sophistication as a writer is evident in the thirty-six dialogues and thirteen letters that have been ascribed to him, known as the Socratic dialogues. His dialogues have been used to teach a range of subjects, including philosophy, logic, rhetoric and mathematics.

Original Statue

Artist: Silanion
Culture: GreekHellenistic
Century: 4th century BCE
Current Location: 

  • ancient greece
  • greek
  • hellenistic
  • philosopher
  • plato
  • portrait
  • sculpture