The figure is depicted wearing the most characteristic of Roman garments, the toga, over a tunic. He stands with his weight on his left leg, with the right relaxed and bent at the knee. The toga is draped over the left shoulder and falls in voluminous folds, with a thick gathering of cloth diagonally across his chest. The relatively small scale of the present figure suggests that perhaps a genius familiaris is depicted, which would have been part of a household shrine. For two related life-sized togate figures, see nos. 26 and 27 in J. Frel and S.K. Morgan, Roman Portraits in the Getty Museum.
Born Nina Renshaw in 1954, Nina Griscom, as she was known, was a model, a muse and a friend to many. The daughter of Elizabet F. Rohatyn and Charles Renshaw, she grew up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Following a traditional upper class education at Miss Porter’s and then Barnard, she broke out to become a model working for Eileen Ford while still in college. “I wasn’t discovered, I walked right in demanding work!,” Ms. Griscom recalled. She later moved on to a position as a television presenter, working from 1990-1993 on entertainment news on HBO and then as the presenter with Alan Richman of Dining Around, which ran from 1993 to 1998. Later she ran home décor stores in Southampton and Manhattan. A patron of the ballet and arts, Ms. Griscom was a familiar face around Manhattan. Her Park Avenue apartment – where this togatus once greeted visitors – was decorated with an eclectic mix of Old Master drawings, fine art and artifacts from around the world. In her later years, as she fought the debilitating effects of ALS, she battled with grace and courage until the last.