• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12256

    Antiquities

    12 April 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 76

    A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF A WOMAN

    CIRCA MID 3RD CENTURY A.D.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF A WOMAN
    CIRCA MID 3RD CENTURY A.D.
    Depicted lifesized, of middle age, with thick modeled brows arching over large almond-shaped eyes with heavy upper lids, the irises articulated, the crescent-shaped pupils deeply drilled, preserving rows of scalloped waves of hair arranged behind her right ear
    6 ½ in. (16.5 cm.) high


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    Female portraits of the mid 3rd century A.D. often feature hairstyles with rows of fastidiously-arranged rippling waves, as popularized by the empress Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus. Later empresses and noblewomen in the period succeeding the Severans would also sport slightly toned down versions of Julia Domna's "helmet coiffure," as the style came to be known. While impossible to ascertain the identity of this woman, similar hairstyles are seen worn by Julia Mamaea and Otacilia Severa (see nos. 35 and 37, in K. Fitschen and P. Zanker, Katalog der Römischen Porträts in den Capitolinischen Museen und den anderen Kommunalen Sammlungen der Stadt Rom).

    Provenance

    Acquired by the current owner in Rome in 1960 and brought to the U.S. in 1961.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF CHARLES BRICKBAUER, BALTIMORE