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A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF A MAN
PROPERTY FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTION OF DR. MICHAEL MILLER
A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF A MAN

CIRCA MID 3RD CENTURY A.D.

Details
A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF A MAN
CIRCA MID 3RD CENTURY A.D.
13 ½ in. (34.3 cm.) high
Provenance
Art Market, London.
Antiquities, Christie's, London, 3 July 1996, lot 433.
Antiquities, Christie's, New York, 18 December 1998, lot 288.
Dr. Michael Miller, Armonk, NY; thence by descent.
Literature
R. Brilliant, The Miller Collection of Roman Sculpture, Minneapolis, 2004, p. 68, no. 25.
Exhibited
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Miller Collection of Roman Sculpture, 2004.

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Lot Essay

Regarding this portrait, R. Brilliant informs: "This honest appraisal on an older man might seem unappealing to modern viewers. However, its purpose was to allude to the subject's appearance, not to flatter him with an idealized image" (op. cit., p. 68). The mid 3rd century A.D. saw a trend in veristic portraiture that was perhaps a reaction to the unstable political climate, with the rapid ascension and declines of various "soldier-emperors." S.E. Wood posits that the need for said soldier-emperors to assert their individual personality manifested itself in the veristic style, and as proven by the present example, private portraiture took its inspiration from images of the Imperial family (Roman Portrait Sculpture, 217-260 A.D: The Transformation of Artistic Tradition, p. 14).

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