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Marble relief fragment with the head of Mars

Period:
Mid-Imperial
Date:
early 3rd century A.D.
Culture:
Roman
Medium:
Marble
Dimensions:
H. 14 7/8 in. (37.8 cm)
Classification:
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1918
Accession Number:
18.145.49
  • Description

    Mars was one of the more important gods of the Roman pantheon. Numerous temples, shrines, and altars were dedicated to him in Rome and throughout the Empire. As the god of war, he had many of the same attributes as the Greek god Ares, but he was also closely associated with the imperial cult, since the emperor's power and popularity depended heavily on the army and its military successes. Mars was therefore often depicted on monuments celebrating imperial victories, notably on triumphal arches, a distinctively Roman type of public building. This fragment presumably comes from one such monument, perhaps even from the now lost Portico of Septimius Severus in Rome. Mars is represented in the canonical guise of an older, bearded man wearing a Corinthian helmet tipped back on his head.

  • References

    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. Karlsruhe: Müller, no. 115, p. 148.

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
250709:1

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