Head of Augustus

Roman Period, Augustus

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 137

Once part of a statue or a portrait bust, this faience head is from Egypt, perhaps near Memphis, where a cult devoted to the emperor Augustus existed in the early Roman period. The vibrant blue-green color of faience—a glass-like material of fused quartz, alkaline salts, lime, and mineral-based colorants—held symbolic associations with regeneration in Egypt. Its use for the head of Augustus represents a confluence of Roman and Egyptian traditions.

Head of Augustus, Faience

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