A Roman marble male portrait head

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Lot 122
A Roman marble male portrait head

Sold for £ 17,500 (US$ 21,055) inc. premium
A Roman marble male portrait head
Julio-Claudian Period, circa 1st Century A.D.
Possibly depicting Nero, with thick curling hair falling at the brow and low at the nape of the neck, with sideburns extending to the jawline, the face with strong features including heavily lidded eyes, a prominent chin and nose, 10¾in (27.3cm) high, mounted

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    German private collection, acquired in 1960.

    Literature:
    Portraits of Nero demonstrate similar facial features such as the protuberant brow, thick bridge of the nose, dimples at the corners of his lips, prominent chin and heavy neck. However the curling hair indicates that this portrait could date from the early 50s A.D., predating Nero's characteristic brushed forward hair. Coins from 51-54 depict him with 'a full head of tousled hair that is brushed from the crown of his head, low on his forehead. It also grows long on the nape of the neck following the trend established by his Julio-Claudian predecessors.' Cf. D. Kleiner, Roman Sculpture, Yale, 1992, pp. 136-9, figs. 111-3.

    For a related portrait of a Julio-Claudian prince with smooth facial features, similar flowing hair, longer at the back and with sideburns, cf. a portrait identified as Germanicus at the Musée du Louvre, Ma 3135;
Contacts
A Roman marble male portrait head
A Roman marble male portrait head
A Roman marble male portrait head
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