Bust of Marcus Aurelius



Bust of Marcus Aurelius. Although the head was broken from the bust at the neck, head and bust belonged to each other. The slightly over life-size bust is a most impressive well-preserved image of Marcus Aurelius, showing him in military guise dressed in tunica, cuirass and a fringed paludamentum. The head is of the so-called Museo delle Terme 726 type, known as his third portrait type and thought to have been created around 161 AD to commemorate either his accession into the throne together with Lucius Verus or his common consulship in 160 AD. This type has a long, pale face with a wide forehead, curved eyebrows and protruding eyeballs, the beard is parted in the middle. The front hair forms an almost straight hairline, and the remainder of the hair forms a mass of tousled curly locks which are arranged rather flatly at the crown of the head and are widest at the temples. He also has a moustache which droops at the sides. There are signs of the Emperor's age in the nasal lines, in the grooves under the eyes and the small wrinkles at the corners of the eyes. The wringles of the forehead look hard and may have been retouched and because of extensive cleaning the iris may have been lost. with only part of it, visible in the left eye. The drill was used for the beard and in the hair around the hairline reaching around the ears. The crown of the hair is rendered by carving, making the locks look like angular masses. The nose and a patch on the upper lip are restored, along with the drapery on the bust. The fringed paludamentum is characteristic of the late Antonine period and can be found also in Ince no 199.