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Marble portrait of Livia

Period:
Early Imperial, Tiberian
Date:
ca. A.D. 14–37
Culture:
Roman
Medium:
Marble
Dimensions:
Other: 9 7/8 x 7 1/4 x 6 3/8 in. (25.1 x 18.4 x 16.2 cm)
Classification:
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1918
Accession Number:
18.145.45
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 166
This well-executed head does not seek to be a lifelike portrait but depicts Livia as an idealized, youthful figure. Born in 58 B.C., Livia would have been in her 70s or 80s when it was carved, probably in the reign of her son, Tiberius. As the emperor Augustus' wife, she exerted enormous influence over the imperial court and, even after his death in A.D. 14, she retained her prestige by association with the deified Augustus, the ruling emperor Tiberius, and her other descendants, who included the future emperors, Gaius (Caligula), Claudius, and Nero.
[Until 1918, with Cesare and Ercole Canessa, Paris]; acquired in 1918, purchased from Cesare and Ercole Canessa.
Freyer-Schauenburg, Brigitte. 182. "Die Kieler Livia." Bonner Jahrbücher, 182: p. 212, pls. 16-19.

Bartman, Elizabeth and Cambridge University Press. 1999. Portraits of Livia: Imaging the Imperial Woman in Augustan Rome. no. 41, pp. 116-17, 164, fig. 148, Cambridge.

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