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Roman bust of a man of the Antonine age

138-161 AD
Antonine, reign of Antoninus Pius

Medium-grained Greek marble

Height (excluding base): 59cm
Height (bust): 29cm
Height (head): 27cm

Museum number: M1026

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 413help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

Dr. Poulsen noted of this bare, chest-length, bust, that the shape is of the Antonine period. The curly, deeply drilled hair in conjunction with the short, curly, full beard enables a still more exact dating to the reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161 AD) and shows that the subject wore both in conscious imitation of the fashion set by that Emperor. The head is turned towards the right and Dr. Poulsen concludes that 'its lack of expression is not due merely to the destruction it has suffered'.

On the similarity of this unknown man's features to those of the Emperor Antoninus Pius, see the Book Review (untitled) of The Athenian Agora by Evelyn Harrison, by Cornelius Vermeule in American Journal of Archaeology, 58, 1954, p. 255. On the provenance of the group of busts in the Soane, of which this is one, which Vermeule believed probably came from Athens see same review p.254.

Provenance help-art-provenance

Unrecorded. Vermeule considered that there 'seems every external indication that Vermeule 410-413 (M517, M1028, M1029 and M1026) entered the collection from a common (antique?) source. He speculates in his Review cited below note, that these might have been brought from Athens by James 'Athenian' Stuart.

Literature

F. Poulsen, Greek and Roman Portraits in English Country Houses, translated by G.C.Richards, Oxford, 1923, p.95, no. 83.
Book Review (untitled) of Evelyn Harrrison'sThe Athenian Agora, by Cornelius Vermeule in American Journal of Archaeology, 58, 1954, pp.254-255


If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk