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A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF THE YOUNG EMPEROR CARACALLA
PROPERTY FROM A NEW YORK PRIVATE COLLECTION
A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF THE YOUNG EMPEROR CARACALLA

198-209 A.D.

Details
A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF THE YOUNG EMPEROR CARACALLA
198-209 A.D.
The ruler depicted as an adolescent with a thick mass of wavy locks, those surrounding his face individually drilled and undercut, cascading in layers to the nape of his neck, with heavy arching brows over his wide lidded eyes, the irises and pupils articulated, his gaze directed upward, his ears visible below his thick hair, and deeply grooved between the helix and antihelix and within the canal, his nostrils deeply drilled, his expression a peaceful sobriety with his mouth downturned
12¾ in. (32.4 cm) high
Provenance
Bernard Blondeel, 1999

Lot Essay

Septimius Bassianus, nicknamed Caracalla (or Caracallus) and later known as Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, was born in Lyon in 188 A.D., the first son to the Emperor Septimius Severus and his second wife Julia Domna. In an effort to establish his own dynasty, Septimius Severus declared the very young Caracalla a Caesar in 196, Augustus in 198 and joint-consul with himself in 202.
Caracalla has two distinct eras of portrait types, as a boy emperor 198-209 and as a sole emperor 212-217. This example falls into the first category and finds a close parallel from Kula, no. 162, p. 306 in Vermeule, Roman Imperial Art in Greece and Asia Minor.
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