Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Statue of a member of the imperial family shown in heroic semi–nudity, Early Imperial, Augustan or Julio–Claudian, 27 b.c.–68 a.d.
    Roman
    Marble, pigment, gilding; H. 46 in. (116.8 cm)
    Bequest of Bill Blass, 2002 (2003.407.9)

    Although headless, this powerful Roman portrait statue immediately communicates the impressive grandeur of its subject. In antiquity, this statue was paired with a similar figure, now also in the Metropolitan Museum (2002.407.8a,b), which together probably formed part of a statuary group honoring the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Gaius and Lucius, the adopted grandsons of the emperor Augustus, are most likely represented.

    The figure is depicted in the semi-nude fashion of Greek heroes. His muscular body conveys his youthful, athletic vigor, and he wears a Greek mantle, masterfully carved with deep, slender folds of drapery. The lower edge of the garment preserves a painted narrow purple band that, on close examination, retains vestiges of gold leaf. This gilding sought to evoke the luxurious embroidered gold-thread brocade of the finest textiles.

    This work of art also appears on Connections: Light

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    On view: Gallery 162
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  • Statue of a member of the imperial family shown in heroic semi-nudity, Early Imperial, Augustan or Julio-Claudian, 27 B.C.–68 A.D.
    Roman
    Marble, pigment, gilding; H. 46 in. (116.8 cm)
    Bequest of Bill Blass, 2002 (2003.407.9)

    Area of purple band on drapery.

    Detail of purple band on drapery.


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