About this object

Marble bust of Augustus, slightly over life-size.
A ‘Prima Porta’ type portrait, one of the most common for the emperor, probably created before 20 BC and also used during his reign but also posthumously. Typical features of this style, include the turn of the head ( to the right here ), the arrangement of the front hair into a ‘claw and fork’ motif, the long neck hair, combed towards the ears, and the idealized ‘classic’ facial proportions, the longer lower part of the face, the closely set of eyes deep into the sockets, the pronounced cheekbones, the small mouth with the elegant lips and the eagle like nose. He has a rigid appearance and the details of the locks are indicated more by angular carving and not render all the nuances. The bust is clad in a cuirass, dated to the early Antonine period, and adorned with a floral ornament on the hinge of the right shpulder and a lion detail as well as circular ornament for the nipple ornamentation. A large head of Medusa dominates the middle of the chest and this was popular decoration in Hadrian times and continued throughout the Antonine period. The crown of the head has been restored along with the tip of the nose and part of the ears; the hair is well-weathered and the face has been deeply cleaned.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Art
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    30 BC - 20 BC
  • Materials
    Marble
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Col. Joseph W Weld, 1959
  • Collector
    Henry Blundell
  • Place collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Date collected
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Measurements
    870 mm x 660 mm x 190 mm
  • Note
    Displayed at the Pantheon.
  • Related people
    Augustus (Portrait); Henry Blundell (Collector, previous owner); Giovanni Volpato (Previous owner); Joseph William Col Sir Weld (Previous owner)

Explore related

Publications

  • A Catalogue of the Ancient Marbles at Ince Blundell Hall

    Ashmole, Bernard

    Author: Ashmole, Bernard
    Publisher: Clarendon Press
    Date: 1929
    Description: An illustrated catalogue of the ancient sculptures collected by Henry Blundell and formerly at Ince Blundell Hall.

  • An Account of the Statues, Busts, Bass Relieves, Cinerary Urns, and other ancient marbles, and paintings at Ince. Collected by H.B.

    Blundell, Henry

    Author: Blundell, Henry
    Publisher:
    Date: 1803
    Description:

  • Ancient Marbles in Great Britain

    Michaelis, A

    Author: Michaelis, A
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Date: 1882
    Description:

  • The Ince Blundell Collection of Classical Sculpture. Volume I - the Portraits. Part 2: The Roman Male Portraits

    Fejfer, J

    Author: Fejfer, J
    Publisher: Liverpool University Press
    Date: 1997
    Description:

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Joseph William Col Sir Weld

    Owned from: 1958
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1959
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Henry Blundell

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1810
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Giovanni Volpato

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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