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A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF THE EMPEROR HADRIAN <BR>
REIGN CIRCA 117-138 A.D. <BR>
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A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF THE EMPEROR HADRIAN

REIGN CIRCA 117-138 A.D.

Details
A ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF THE EMPEROR HADRIAN
REIGN CIRCA 117-138 A.D.
Lifesized, finely sculpted with his characteristic thick wavy hair combed forward in undulating rows, the locks detailed by incision and drillwork, with a closely-cropped beard, the mustache with a gap at the philtrum, his thin lips pressed together, the eyes unarticulated beneath heavy brows, with slight creases extending from their outer corners
11 in. (27.9 cm.) high
Provenance
Mr. X., Paris, acquired in the early 1970s.
Collection d'un Amateur, Succession de M. X, Objets d'Art et de Bel Ameublement; Piasa, Paris, 28 March 2008, lot 162.

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G. Max Bernheimer
G. Max Bernheimer

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Lot Essay

Even though the Emperor Hadrian came to power at the age of 41 and ruled for twenty-one years, most of his portraits show him as a never-aging adult, his skin smooth and wrinkle free (see Kleiner, Roman Sculpture, p. 238). However, the large number of surviving portraits (second only to the Emperor Augustus) display an infinite variety, and some, in fact, as with the present example, show him with a somewhat fleshy face, complete with a creased forehead and slight folds at the outer corners of the eyes. See for example the bust from the villa of Herodes Atticus at Luku, discovered in 1995, fig. 171 in Opper, Hadrian, Empire and Conflict.
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