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Bust of Emperor Augustus (''Prima Porta'' type)
Roman Sculptor
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Roman Sculptor

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Bust of Emperor Augustus ("Prima Porta" type)

14 - 37. White marble.
Room 071

This type of portrait of the first Roman emperor , Augustus Caesar –born Gaius Octavius– (63 B.C.-14 A.D.), was the best and most widely known. It corresponds to the "Prima Porta" type, which was created as an expression of the virtues of humanity and responsibility characteristic of a good prince and first citizen, and was very often employed in effigies of the Emperor. It was created around 27 B.C., when Gaius Octavius Caesar (63 B.C.-14 A.D.) received the title of Augustus from the Roman Senate. With a relaxed expression, a firm gaze and smooth and very ordered hair, this portrait transmits an air of sublime tranquility. This head, in particular, should be dated in the epoch of Emperor Tiberius (14-37 A.D.).


Technical data

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Inventory number
Roman Sculptor
Bust of Emperor Augustus (''Prima Porta'' type)
14 - 37
White marble
Height: 67 cm; Width: 29 cm; Base/bottom: 27 cm
Bustos de los Doce Emperadores [serie del cardenal Montepulciano]
Royal Collection (Collection of Felipe II, Real Alcázar, Madrid).

Bibliography +

Hübner, Emil, Die Antiken Bildwerke in Madrid, Druck Und Verlag Von Georg Reimer, Berlín, 1862, pp. 83.

Barrón, Eduardo, Catálogo de la escultura. Museo Nacional de Pintura y Escultura., Imprenta y fototipia J. Lacoste, Madrid, 1908, pp. 101-102, lám.LXI-I, n.119.

Ricard, Robert, Marbres Antiques du Musee du Prado a Madrid, Feret & Fils, Burdeos, 1923, pp. 69.

Blanco, Antonio, Catálogo de la escultura, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 1957, pp. 99.

Blanco, Antonio; Lorente, Manuel, Catálogo de la escultura. Museo del Prado, Patronato Nacional de Museos, Madrid, 1981.

Schröder, Stephan F., Catálogo de la escultura clásica: Museo del Prado, I, Museo Nacional del Prado, 1993, pp. 111-114.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Escultura clásica: guía, Fundación Marcelino Botín; Museo del Prado, Santander, 1999, pp. 154.

Schröder, Stephan, 'Las series de los Doce Emperadores' En:, El Coleccionismo de Escultura Clasica en España. Actas del Simposio 21-22 de Mayo 2001, Madrid, 2001, pp. 43-60.

Martínez Leiva, Gloria; Rodríguez Rebollo, Ángel, El inventario del Alcázar de Madrid de 1666. Felipe IV y su colección artística, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, 2015, pp. 526 nº 773.

Other inventories +

Inv. Real Museo, Sección Escultura, 1857. Núm. 248.
248. Cabeza de Augusto Cesar, semicolosal de marmol de Carrara con base de marmol blanco. / Alto 1 pie, 9 pulg; / Id. la base 7 pulgs.

Inscriptions +

Inscribed in black. Plinth

Location +

Room 071 (On Display)

Update date: 11-11-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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