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Creator Nationality: European; Southern European; Roman
Creator Name-CRT: Roman
Title: Portrait bust of a bearded man
Title Type: Object name
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 150
Creation End Date: 175
Creation Date: ca. A.D. 150-175
Object Type: Sculpture
Classification Term: Stone Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: marble
Dimensions: H. 22 in. (55.9 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1998.209
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1998
This masterful portrait bust represents a vigorous middle-aged man who turns his head slightly to his right and stares into the distance with a critical, penetrating gaze. The broad, square face is carefully modeled; wide furrows cut into the low forehead and at the corners of the eyes, adding to the intensity of the expression. One assumes that the sitter was a contemporary man in the guise of a thinker rather than this being a portrait of a practicing philosopher. The style of the sculpture is firmly rooted in the Hadrianic tradition (A.D. 117-138), but the elegant, restrained calm associated with the best Hadrianic production has been replaced by expressive, forceful agitation, a trait first encountered in the Antonine period (A.D. 138-192). The work is a splendid example of psychological portraiture and exudes a sense of abrupt nervousness that finds close parallels in other Antonine characterizations.
The back of the bust has not been hollowed out to provide for a supporting pillar and base. Moreover, the lower edge of the bust approximates the segment of a circle close to two feet in diameter. One may thus conclude that the bust was an imago clipeata (circular portrait bust), originally framed within a circular molding and intended to be viewed from below.
AMICA ID: MMA_.1998.209
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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