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A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF A WOMAN
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF CHARLES BRICKBAUER, BALTIMORE
A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF A WOMAN

CIRCA MID 3RD CENTURY A.D.

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

Brought to you by

G. Max Bernheimer
G. Max Bernheimer

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Lot Essay

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).

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