A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT BUST OF A WOMAN
PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF CHRISTIAN B. PEPER
A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT BUST OF A WOMAN

AUGUSTAN, CIRCA LATE 1ST CENTURY B.C.-1ST CENTURY A.D.

Details
A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT BUST OF A WOMAN
AUGUSTAN, CIRCA LATE 1ST CENTURY B.C.-1ST CENTURY A.D.
Lifesized, with her head turned slightly to her right, her mature face with full cheeks tapering to her pronounced square chin, her fleshy lips pressed together, her almond-shaped eyes with heavy lids, the brows incised, her nose prominent, her wavy hair loosely pulled back, with a wide nodus above the forehead that runs back over the crown of the head in a slender braid and coils into a chignon at the back of her head
12¼ in. (31.1 cm.) high
Provenance
Barberini Collection, Rome.
with Sestieri Antichità, Rome, 1975.
Acquired by Christian B. Peper, St. Louis, and brought to the U.S., 1975.

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Molly Morse Limmer
Molly Morse Limmer

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Lot Essay

This coiffure, the so-called nodus hairstyle, was popularized by women associated with the court of Augustus, including his wife Livia and sister Octavia. It is unique amongst hairstyles of the period as it was an original Roman creation, and was not inspired by earlier Greek or Etruscan styles, which had been the norm for most coiffures in the late 1st century B.C. The style came to be imitated by contemporary women of all classes in Roman society. For a similar example see no. 18, p. 39 in Kleiner, Roman Sculpture.
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