Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Marble portrait of the co-emperor Lucius Verus

Period:
Mid-Imperial, Antonine
Date:
A.D. 161–169
Culture:
Roman
Medium:
Marble
Dimensions:
H. 14 1/2 in. (36.8 cm)
Classification:
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1913
Accession Number:
13.227.1
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 162
This fragmentary head comes from an over-life-sized portrait bust or statue of Lucius Verus, co-emperor with Marcus Aurelius (r. A.D. 161–180). At the beginning of his reign, Verus was sent to the East to direct military operations against the Parthians, and although the war was concluded successfully in A.D. 166, his returning troops brought back the plague, which ravaged the Empire for several years thereafter. He is compared unfavorably with Marcus Aurelius by the ancient sources, but the portrait shown here has a leonine majesty that gives little indication of his reputation as an idle and dissolute ruler. It is typical of Antonine style in its use of luxuriant drillwork in the hair and engraved eyes to dramatize the basically naturalistic image.
Said to be from Rome [Until 1913, with Paul Hartwig, Rome]; acquired in 1913, purchased from P. Hartwig.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1914. "Department of Classical Art Accessions 1913." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 9 (3): pp. 61–62, fig. 4.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1917. Handbook of the Classical Collection. p. 252, fig. 154, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Chase, George H. 1924. Greek and Roman Sculpture in American Collections. p. 188, fig. 237, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1927. Handbook of the Classical Collection. pp. 302–3, fig. 212, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1930. Handbook of the Classical Collection. pp. 302–3, fig. 212, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1941. Roman Portraits, Vol. 2. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1948. Roman Portraits, 2nd edn. no. 81, p. v, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Thimme, Jürgen. 1976. Kunst und Kultur der Kykladeninseln im 3. Jahrtausend v. Chr.: Ausstellung unter d. Patronat des International Council of Museums ICOM im Karlsruher Schloss vom 25. Juni-10. Oktober 1976. no. 106, p. 138, Karlsruhe: Müller.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1987. Greece and Rome. no. 106, p. 138, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 450, pp. 385, 494, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Zanker, Paul. 2016. Roman Portraits: Sculptures in Stone and Bronze in the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. no. 26, pp. 84–85, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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