Saturday, September 12, 2015


More imperial portraits

Interesting portrait of “Marcus Aurelius (161/180)” young and beardless, dating back to about 147

“Julia Domna” Syrian wife of Septimius Severus (193/211) who was a native of Libya

“Maximinus Thrax (235/238)” the so-called “Emperor soldier”
He was born in today's Bulgaria and was a shepherd who had made a career in the army. He was huge and the Historia Augusta (document probably dating from the early fifth century AD with biographies of the emperors) reports that he was incredibly 2.40 m (9 feet) tall
He was the first emperor who never went to Rome during his reign

“Balbino (238)” was emperor for three months together with Pupienus with whom he quarreled bitterly. During the quarrel were both killed by the praetorians who proclaimed emperor the thirteen-years-old Gordian III

“Bust of Merman” late second century AD with his mouth open to let water flow out. It was in fact used as a fountain in the Septizonium

“Bas-relief of a woman with two birds in one hand and a cane in the other” early fourth century AD maybe a personification of winter

“Graffiti with donkey man crucified” from the Pedagogium with the inscription in Greek: “Alexamenos worships his god” first half of the third century AD
It is probably a very early mockery of the Christian religion

The sculptural decoration of the Palace. Greek originals and Roman copies of the Classical and Hellenistic periods

“Acroterial headless statue of Aura” with peplum open on the side. Maybe Greek original of the fifth century BC from near the Arch of Titus
An acroterial statue is a statue placed as a decoration on the roof of a temple

“Child seated”

“Headless statue of Aphrodite or Kharis” from the original by Kallimacos with beautiful light drapery that enhances the sensual posing of the goddess

“Dionysus as a child”. It was originally placed in the arms of Hermes

“Head of Aphrodite”

“Statuette of Diomedes carrying the Palladium”

“Torso of Artemis”

“Head of Aphrodite of Cnidus” and “Head of Apollo Sauroctonos” from the original by Praxiteles (about 395/326 BC)

“His ideal is the Charis, who is beauty combined with grace. He does not move in the sphere of the solemn Olympian deities as Phidias and the artists of the fifth century, but he chooses only a few semi-divine beings or gods, and represents them with an all human beauty in a tone already delicately sensual and romantic. For his particular poetic content he creates rhythms that free figures from the equilibrium gravitating around their axis which was the central problem of the art of the fifth century and which had been formulated in more complex and organic way by Polykleitos. Praxiteles' rhythms are either leaning on a lateral support, giving a new curve to the figure, or either, when support is lacking, the body bends in its own soft gravity, it is released in an inert abandonment, or bends in a simple pose, often with its head bowed, always avoiding the static and vertical line” (Enciclopedia Treccani)

“Headless statue of a girl dancing”

“Two muses sitting”

“Fragmentary head of Doryphoros” from original by Polykleitos of Argos (about 490/425 BC)

“Two heads of Apollo” of the Anzio type

“Veiled head of Venus Sosandra” or savior of mankind, from an original of about 460 BC by Calamis
It was his most famous work and it was placed on the Acropolis of Athens

“Figure solemn and quiet, which expresses an ideal of femininity in the process of affirmation. We are far beyond the ancient climate: there is obviously some psychological research, the desire to penetrate in the privacy of individuals” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)

“Hera Borghese” second century AD from an original of the end of the fifth century BC

“An original of the last quarter of the fifth century BC takes to the extreme the drapery of the Parthenon with a bold play of folds. It is a statue of a goddess found in secondary arrangement in the agora of Athens and reconstructed from several fragments. The work recalls the so-called type of the Hera Borghese, known only through replicas of Roman age. These types of statues, created especially to depict Aphrodite, introduce a new vision of the deity - more feminine and sensual, different from the idealized humanity of the goddesses of the Parthenon - which will lead, in the following century, to the naked Aphrodite by Praxiteles, the famous Aphrodite of Cnidus” (Marina Castoldi)

Statue of “Magna Mater sitting” in Pentelic marble, originally located in the Temple of Magna Mater
“Head of Hygeia” Augustan copy of a late-classical work

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