Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Marble portrait bust of a woman

Period:
Severan
Date:
ca. A.D. 193–211
Culture:
Roman
Medium:
Marble
Dimensions:
H. 26 in. (66 cm)
Classification:
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1930
Accession Number:
30.11.11
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 169
Said to be from the Greek islands

In the early third century A.D., some marble busts became so deep as to be almost half-statues and often included the arms, giving the image a lively appearance. This young woman has a hair arrangement made popular by Julia Domna, wife of the emperor Septimius Severus (r. A.D. 193–211) and mother of the emperor Caracalla (r. A.D. 211–217). Parted at the center, long locks framed the face, covering the ears and falling almost to the shoulders before looping back to form an enormous bun at the back of the head.
Until 1930, collection of Baron Maximilian von Heyl and descendants, Darmstadt, Germany; acquired in 1930, purchased at the Heyl Sale, Gallerie Helbing, Munich.

Alexander, Christine. 1931. "A Roman Portrait." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 26(3), pt. 1: pp. 62–63, figs. 1–4.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1936[1934]. A Guide to the Collections, Part 1: Ancient and Oriental Art, 2nd edn. 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. 88, p. v, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1970. Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries. New York: Dutton.

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. 112, p. 144, Karlsruhe: Müller.

McCann, Anna Marguerite. 1978. Roman Sarcophagi in the Metropoltian Museum of Art. pp. 43–44, fig. 44, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1987. Greece and Rome. no. 112, p. 144, 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. 86, pp. 189, 192, 225–26, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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