Samno-Attic Bronze Helmet, Late 5th-Early 4th Century BC

This type of helmet is so-called because of its close association with the Samnite warriors of central and southern Italy, and its derivation from the Greek Attic and Chalcidian type helmets. The form of any helmet was first and foremost functional, and its evolution was entirely dependent on the type of warfare fought and the cultural and artistic traditions of those who utilized it. Greek and Italic helmets of the fifth and fourth centuries BC, such as this example, evolved with new features to adapt to changing tactics in warfare, with the increasing importance of lighter equipment and tactical flexibility. This prompted the development of open-faced helmets, which gave the soldier greater visibility and ventilation with the inclusion of apertures for the ears. The Samno-Attic helmet was essentially a further development of the Chalcidian/Attic type that saw the disappearance of the nasal guard and a more spherical dome.

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Pablo Picasso in his studio in Mougins in the South of France, 1965.

Picasso seldom goes out from his eagle’s nest—not even to the bullfights anymore—he has learned to cut his own hair—for Picasso only likes work; and this house on the mountain top is his entire world. He has already built three new studios, and he now wants to fill a fourth with painting. This, at eighty-four, is not bad.

—Cecil Beaton, 1965

Photo by Cecil Beaton.