Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool, World Museum
Bust of Augustus
Currently not on display
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.