This fragment of an altar is from a commemorative monument in which identifying inscriptions would have appeared on the shaft below the three portrait busts. Since that part of the altar is now missing, the relationship between the figures is not known. The woman at the center, whose hairstyle suggests a date in the early second century A.D., is the main focus of attention and so is thought to be the mother of the two men, who look respectfully toward her. It may be that they died first, and their grieving mother, who is presented in a more lifelike pose, was left to set up this monument.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1915. "Department of Classical Art: The Accessions of 1914." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 10 (2): pp. 25, 27, fig. 7.
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. 65, p. iv, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Kleiner, Diana and Susan B. Matheson. 1996. I Claudia: Women in Ancient Rome pp. 201-2, fig. 152, New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery.