• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1915

    Antiquities

    6 December 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 152

    A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF A MAN

    CIRCA EARLY 1ST CENTURY A.D.

    Price Realised  

    A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF A MAN
    CIRCA EARLY 1ST CENTURY A.D.
    Inclined and turned slightly to his right, with a cleft chin, a slender nose and a small mouth, the lips pressed together, the unarticulated eyes with heavy upper lids beneath overhanging brows, the forehead creased, the hair arranged in rows of short, overlapping curving locks, breaking at the center of the forehead to the left and right, with thick, forward curving locks in front of the prominent ears, a long neck and sagging jowls, the back of the head unfinished, suggesting placement within a columbarium niche
    13¾ in. (34.9 cm.) high


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    The style of the hair and the treatment of the details of the face are typical of the early Julio-Claudian period. According to Zanker (p. 293 in The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus), "in their facial expression and the tilt of the head these likenesses echo precisely the stereotypical formulas of portraits made to honor Augustus and the Julio-Claudian princes."

    Provenance

    with Galerie Nefer, Zurich, 1991 (Menschliche Götter - Göttliche Menschen, Antike Bildnisse in Stein, no. 11).
    with Royal-Athena Galleries, New York, 2002 (Art of the Ancient World, vol. XIII, no. 9).