Bronze portrait bust of a Roman matron

Period: Early Imperial, Julio-Claudian

Date: ca. A.D. 20–50

Culture: Roman

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: H. 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm)

Classification: Bronzes

Credit Line: Edith Perry Chapman Fund, 1952

Accession Number: 52.11.6


This bust of a private individual has often been taken to represent one of the emperor Augustus’s descendants, notably his granddaughter Agrippina the Elder, whose hairstyle is closely imitated here. It provides a good illustration of the way in which official images of the emperor and his family influenced Roman private portraits. The bust may have been a dedication, possibly set up in a shrine within the family house.