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Marble portrait of the emperor Augustus

Period:
Early Imperial, Julio-Claudian
Date:
ca. A.D. 14–37
Culture:
Roman
Medium:
Marble
Dimensions:
H. 27.94 cm.
Classification:
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1908
Accession Number:
08.258.47
  • Description

    When Octavian took the title of Augustus in 27 B.C., an official portrait was created that embodied the qualities he wished to project, and hundreds of versions of it were disseminated throughout the Empire. The features are individualized, but the overall effect is of calm, elevated dignity and brings to mind Classical Greek art of the fifth century B.C. With this studied understatement, the portraits could evoke the values of the glorious past of Athens and at the same time present the emperor simply as primus inter pares, first among equals.

  • References

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1941. Roman Portraits, Vol. 1. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
248119:2

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