Marble portrait head of a woman


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 169

The portrait is one of great character, reflecting the personality and physical appearance of the subject. It also illustrates the continuing practice of private individuals of following the fashions set by the imperial court; under the Severan dynasty (A.D. 193–235) hairstyles for both men and women were very restrained in comparison with earlier styles. In addition, the carving at the back of the head indicates that a separate piece of marble was used for part of the coiffure, either a circular bun or a broad ponytail.

Marble portrait head of a woman, Marble, Roman

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