About this object

Portrait of a woman restored on an ancient bust.
The portrait is about life-size and the turn of the head and eyes is to the right. Jane Fejfer described the hairstyle as a variant of the characteristic Severan ‘helmet’ type, consisting of three basic elements: the broad, loosely twisted strand of hair surrounding the face and covering the ears; behind this thinner ribbed strands of hair; finally a large plaited bun at the back of the head. The face is long and narrow with prominent cheekbones and a small pointed chin. The pupils of the eyes are very distinct: they touch the upper lids and direct the gaze to the right.There is a gentle modelling of flesh in contrast to the sharp treatment of the eyes. The tip of the nose has been restored, along with most of both nostrils, and a patch on the bridge of the nose. The left cheek, mouth, eyebrows and forehead have also suffered impact marks.
The bust may be foreign to the head but it is probably ancient. Its size s well the draping of the mantle over the left shoulder and the simple arrangement of the folds not differentiating between mantle and tunic dated it to the late Antonine-early Severan period.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Art
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    200 AD about
  • 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
    580 mm
  • Note
    Jane Fejfer dated the portrait to 200 AD because of similarities to a portrait in the Museo Capitolino and particularly the combination of the soft treatment of the flesh with the hard treatment of the eyes.
    Blundell interpreted it as portrait of the Empress Didia Clara, the only daughter of Didius Julianus. He may have known of the bust insribed Didia Clare in Florence Galleria degli Uffizi inv 14, no 205. The bust was known from the early 18th century.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell (Collector, previous owner); Antonio Borrioni (Previous owner); John Thorpe (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 1: The Female Portraits

    Fejfer, Jane; Southworth, Edmund

    Author: Fejfer, Jane; Southworth, Edmund
    Publisher: HMSO
    Date: 1991
    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
  • Antonio Borrioni

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1756
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • John Thorpe

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1777
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
No media found
Have 11 place tagsPage load time: 265 ms