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image M525

Small Roman female head

98-117 AD
Trajanic

Terracotta in high, hollowed relief

Height: 20cm, approximately

Museum number: M525

Vermeule catalogue number: Vermeule 451help-vermeule-catalogue-number

Curatorial note

This woman, with a full, slightly upturned face and a bare neck, wears a large, elaborate headdress of the Trajanic Era (98-117 AD) and earrings.

This small piece is a votive head. Heads of this type, usually in high, hollowed relief, have been found in Italian shrines, especially those associated with curative powers. Similar objects from the excavations on the site of the so-called shrine of Minerva Medica, near the reservoir of the Baths of Titus in Rome are described by Jones.1 They cannot be considered portraits, and are in fact no different from models (ex votos) of other parts of the body dedicated in times of affliction or for cures received.

1 The British School at Rome, Catalogue of ancient sculptures preserved in the municipal of Rome: The sculptures of the Palazzo dei Conservatori, ed. H.S. Jones, Oxford, 1926, pl.124, nos. 1-17.

Provenance help-art-provenance

Unrecorded


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