Description Some of the finest examples of Roman sculpture are the outstanding portraits that commemorated important individuals. The Roman portrait tradition began with the life-like statues of the Republican period (509-27 BC). These realistic portraits emphasized the age and experience of the respected elders of the family. In imperial times (27 BC-AD 410), the emperor's portrait was copied and displayed in public places throughout the empire, and the manner in which he chose to be portrayed had an enormous impact on the style and fashion of the portraits, both public and private, of his contemporaries. As the first emperor of Rome, Augustus created a new role for portraits in public life. Prominent images of members of the imperial family were intended to emphasize the expected continuation of the family's power. This head is from a group of imperial bronzes discovered in what is today the Via del Babuino, a street in Rome. Although only fragments remain, the head is of superb quality and clearly demonstrates the skill with which the artist carved the original wax model that was used to cast this statue.
|9/06/1973||Examination||examined for condition|
|9/06/1973||Treatment||cleaned; stabilized; loss compensation; mounted|
Provenance Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902
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