This head originally belonged to an honorary portrait statue of Mindia Matidia, or Matidia Minor (A.D. 85–162), half-sister of Sabina, wife of the emperor Hadrian, and aunt of the emperor Antoninus Pius. There exist five other replicas of this portrait type, recognized by a recently discovered statue of Matidia Minor from the Roman theater at Suessa Aurunca, a Campanian town of which she was a major benefactor. As is common with members of the imperial family, she is portrayed with an idealized, youthful face, and styling a complex coiffure that includes a hairpiece in the shape of braids coiled on top of her head. Her upward gaze is characteristic of many portraits from the Antonine period onward.
[Until 1921, with Alfredo Barsanti, Rome]; acquired in 1921, purchased from A. Barsanti.
Pinney, Margaret E. 1924. "Miscellaneous Greek and Roman Sculptures." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 19(8): p. 194.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1940. "A Rearrangement of Roman Portraits." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 35(10): p. 202.
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. 84, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Baratte, Francois. 1984. "Un Portrait Féminin des Collections du Louvre." Revue Archéologique, : pp. 303–04, figs. 5–7.
Zanker, Paul. 2016. Roman Portraits: Sculptures in Stone and Bronze in the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. no. 80, pp. 192, 214–15, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.