Due to her association with fertility, Ceres and her characteristic iconography were utilized during the Roman Empire for portraits of female members of the imperial family (see p. 47 in B. S. Spaeth, The Roman Goddess Ceres). In the 2nd century A.D., numerous examples of empresses in the guise of the goddess are known, including Faustina the Elder and Vibia Sabina, who were depicted holding the torch of Ceres in their right hand, while clasping sheaths of wheat and poppies in their left (see no. 27 in op. cit., nos. 189-90 in S. de Angeli, "Demeter/Ceres," in LIMC, vol. IV). While it is impossible to confirm if the present example once depicted a member of the imperial family, the iconography is closely related to these portraits that sought to stress the imperial woman's role as progenetrix of the royal bloodline.