Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Artist

Unknown Artist

Title

Portrait Head of Emperor Antoninus Pius

Creation Date

ca. 138-150

Century

2nd century

Dimensions

14 15/16 in. x 8 3/16 in. x 8 11/16 in. (38 cm x 20.8 cm x 22.07 cm)

Object Type

sculpture

Creation Place

Ancient Mediterranean, Roman

Medium and Support

marble

Credit Line

Gift of Edward Perry Warren, Esq., Honorary Degree, 1926

Copyright

Public Domain

Accession Number

1906.1
This portrait of the emperor Antoninus Pius was sculpted using marble from the Aegean island of Paros, one of the most-prized varieties known in antiquity. The fine grain of the stone permits the rendering of intricate detail seen in the treatment of the hair and lends itself to the high polish applied to the skin of the portrait. In addition, the sculptor used a “running drill,” an early mechanical carving tool, to shape the locks of hair and to delineate the pupils of the eyes. Paint, traces of which are still visible, was added to highlight the hair and eyes to make the portrait appear more life-like. The rich treatment of the carving would have been augmented by the addition of metal wreath or crown. From back to front, Antoninus Pius was intended to be seen from all sides.

Additional Media

Additional Image left side
left side
Additional Image back
back
Additional Image right side
right side


Keywords: portraits  

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