Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool, World Museum
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 there is thinner ribbed strands of hair and 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 and the draping of the mantle over the left shoulder with the simple arrangement of the folds, making it difficult to differentiate between mantle and tunic, lead to a dating from the late Antonine- to the early Severan period.