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Portrait of a young Man
Marble. 161 - 170
Roman Sculptor
Portrait of a young Man
Marble. 161 - 170
Roman Sculptor

The sitter is depicted with a dense head of curly hair, a carefully trimmed beard, thin moustache, and a goatee beard between his mouth and chin. The young man’s elegant hairstyle imitates portraits of the Emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus of 161 A. D. The military cloak indicates that the sitter had recently embarked on a military career.

Young Roman, formerly identified as Domitian
White marble. Ca. 100
Roman Sculptor
Young Roman, formerly identified as Domitian
White marble. Ca. 100
Roman Sculptor

The refined features of this distinguished young man recall those of the Emperor Nerva (96-98 AD) and his hairstyle reflects that of the previous Emperor, Domitian (81-96 AD). But this head also has some individualised features. One of a series of the Twelve Emperors given by Pius V to Philip II in 1568, it is likely that at that time this portrait was considered to depict Domitian.

Roman Woman
White marble. 150 - 155
Roman Sculptor
Roman Woman
White marble. 150 - 155
Roman Sculptor

The portrait is of a mature, high-class lady with a serene and somewhat tired expression. Like many portraits of its era, it imitates the hairstyles adopted in the imperial household, in this case of Faustina the Elder (105-141 B. C.), wife of the emperor Antoninus Pius.

Homer
White marble. II century
Roman Sculptor
Homer
White marble. II century
Roman Sculptor

This idealised portrait of the blind poet, author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, depicts him as an old, bearded man, a typology established in the 3rd century BC. In the 18th century the interest in establishing the appearance of figures from Antiquity led the bust’s owner, José Nicolás de Azara, to identify it as the philosopher Plato, whose name he had inscribed on it.

Greek Youth
White marble. 200 - 217
Roman Sculptor
Greek Youth
White marble. 200 - 217
Roman Sculptor

The Greek word “neoni” inscribed on this portrait means “young”, but it could also be the name of this unknown sitter, Neon. With regard to his appearance, the hairstyle recalls that of Alexander the Great and the features those of Antinous. This head can be approximately dated to the period of the Emperor Caracalla, a great admirer of Alexander.

Herm of the epic poet Homer
White marble. Third quarter of the I century
Roman Sculptor
Herm of the epic poet Homer
White marble. Third quarter of the I century
Roman Sculptor

Portraits of Homer, author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, the earliest works of Western literature (8th century B.C.), were made only many years after his death, when any reliable memories of his appearance had long disappeared. As Pliny the Younger (23-79 A.C.) noted, “If no portraits exist they are invented, out of a wish to know the features of someone like Homer, whose appearance has not been t

Woman with a Flavian Hairstyle
White marble. 90 - 110
Roman Sculptor
Woman with a Flavian Hairstyle
White marble. 90 - 110
Roman Sculptor

Realism in the depiction of physical features is one of the characteristics of Roman portraiture. The hairstyle became a further identifying element, indicating the importance given to personal adornment and changes in fashion. Here the subject wears a false, curly hairpiece, a common practice among noblewomen of the period in emulation of the Emperor Titus’s daughter Julia Flavia (AD 64-91).

Roman Matron
White marble. 85 - 120
Roman Sculptor
Roman Matron
White marble. 85 - 120
Roman Sculptor

Este retrato de una romana entrada en años y con una mirada que delata seguridad de sí misma impresiona aún hoy por su realismo bien dosificado. En tanto los rasgos faciales autenticos de la retratada, dan la impresión de haber sido reproducidos sin mayores modificaciones, las zonas de piel desnuda, en cambio, aparecen alisadas debido al pulimento de la superficie del marmol, de modo que la repres

Marcus Junius Brutus (?)
White marble. 70 - 100
Roman Sculptor
Marcus Junius Brutus (?)
White marble. 70 - 100
Roman Sculptor

Brutus (85-42 BC) is a controversial figure; an example of a traitor but also a paradigm of republican heroism due to his participation in the plot to assassinate Julius Caesar in order to check his imperial ambitions. This Flavian bust is thought to depict Brutus on the basis of comparison with his appearance on the denarius of the Ides of March, minted in 44 BC. In the 19th century it was catalo

Cicero
White marble. I century
Anonymous; Roman Sculptor
Cicero
White marble. I century
Anonymous; Roman Sculptor

A brilliant orator and politician, Cicero (106-43 BC) became the literary reference for the values of Roman culture. This bust retains the original inscription with his name and age at his death in Roman numerals. The head is later and reproduces a well known model that was in the Mattei collection in Rome (now in London).

Young Roman Woman
White marble. 225 - 250
Roman Sculptor
Young Roman Woman
White marble. 225 - 250
Roman Sculptor

La representada es una romana joven cuyos ojos grandes, con perforaciones profundas marcando las pupilas, miran hacia la derecha en actitud reflexiva. Como este, numerosos retratos de particulares realizados a finales de la época severiana documentan el florecimiento del retrato femenino y el gran prestigio de la mujer en una época en que Iulia Mamaea, la madre del emperador Alejandro Severo, era

Aristogiton
White marble. Late I century
Roman Sculptor
Aristogiton
White marble. Late I century
Roman Sculptor

The first political monument erected by the Athenian democracy was the group of the tyrannicides Harmodius and Aristogiton who, in 514 B. C., killed the tyrant Hipparcus. The two bronze statues by Critius and Nesiotes were set up in 477 B. C. in the Agora of Athens and they show the mortal attack of the aristocrats. The Prado head belongs to a herm which may have decorated the garden of a Roman vi

Menander
White marble. 10 - 50
Roman Sculptor
Menander
White marble. 10 - 50
Roman Sculptor

Menander (Athens, 342-293 B.C.) has not been treated fairly by posterity, as almost all the one hundred plays he wrote have been lost. They are known to us, however, through the Roman playwright Plautus, who used them as inspiration for his comedies. The ancient Romans so admired Menander that more than seventy-two Roman-period copies of his portrait are still extant, although they were identified

Blind Homer
White marble. Third quarter of the II century
Roman Sculptor
Blind Homer
White marble. Third quarter of the II century
Roman Sculptor

A Roman copy of a Hellenistic image of the poet sculpted between 150 and 125 B.C. The author of the Iliad and the Odyssey was venerated throughout Classical Antiquity. He was imagined with a variety of physiognomies by Greek artists. This portrait corresponds to the Hellenistic blind-type, which was much repeated because of its tragic expression.

Roman Patrician, formerly known as Nero
White marble. 65 - 70
Roman Sculptor
Roman Patrician, formerly known as Nero
White marble. 65 - 70
Roman Sculptor

This youth, with his distinctive features, has a hairstyle introduced under Nero (54-68 AD). The Emperor’s undulating locks scandalised the upper classes in Rome at the time but were highly appreciated by the jeunesse dorée. One of a series of the Twelve Emperors given by Pius V to Philip II in 1568, it is likely that at that time this portrait was considered to depict Nero.

Sophocles
White marble. Ca. 150
Roman Sculptor
Sophocles
White marble. Ca. 150
Roman Sculptor

Sophocles (497/6-406/5 b.c.e.) was already famous during his lifetime as his tragedies triumphed at the Dionysian Feasts in Athens more frequently than any others. He is represented with a thin cord around his head, which indicates that, as a priest of the local gods of health, Amynus and Halon, in the year 420/19, he took care of health god Asclepius of Epidaurus, probably at the sanctuary of Amy

Roman Man
White marble. I century
Roman Sculptor
Roman Man
White marble. I century
Roman Sculptor

A concern to reflect the inevitable effects of time is clearly evident in the features of this head, which follows earlier Republican models associated with ancestor worship. The subject’s advanced age, wrinkles and the overall physical depiction all add realism and suggest that this image may have been made for a family tomb.

Xenophon
White marble. Ca. 150
Roman Sculptor
Xenophon
White marble. Ca. 150
Roman Sculptor

The portrait of the writer Xenophon (430-354 b.c.e.), who was a disciple of Socrates in Athens and later commanded an army serving the Persians and Spartans, was identified in 1949, when a herm inscribed with his name was discovered in Alexandria (120 A.D., BA Antiquities Museum, inv. 25778).Six Roman copies of this portrait are now known: the Alexandria herm, an incomplete portrait from Pergamon,

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