13 June 2000
A LARGE ROMAN BRONZE PORTRAIT BUST OF A MAN
circa 2nd century a.d.
Perhaps an imago clipeata, depicted wearing a toga over a simple tunic, clutching an undulating snake to his chest, his head angled forward and turned slightly to the left, the distinctive physiognomy of the man veristically rendered, with a slight double chin, the fleshy lips indented below the lower lip and at the corners, with a deep filtrum, the long nose rounded at its end, the nostrils slightly flaring, the concave lidded eyes beneath heavy modelled brows, the pupils drilled and perhaps originally inlaid, the ears prominent, his hair arranged in four tiers of short wavy locks radiating down from the crown, each lock enhanced by incising, with one large lock swept up from the center of the forehead and terminating in a tight curl
11 in. (27.9 cm) high
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The presence of the snake strongly suggests an association with the cult of Aesclepius. This portrait may represent a priest of the god's cult, or, perhaps a physician.
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