Collection online

portrait bust

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Marble bust of the emperor Septimius Severus.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 200-210 (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 67.31 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Cook 2011, nr. 201:
    ‘A bust of Septimius Severus, found 1776 on the Palatine hill, in the part of the ancient pallace of the Caesars, now occupied by the Villa Magnani’ (TY 12/3, dining room 14).

    Bought from Jenkins in 1777, together with Cook 2011, nr. 200 (present location unknown), for £50 (TY 8/74/17, TY 8/74/29, TY 8/75/6, and ‘Union Catalogue’, fo. 61v), of which £30 was allocated to this item in TY 10/3 (fo. 20), £35 in TY 10/5 and TY 12/1, and £40 in TY 10/6-7. Townley also paid 75 Scudi for restoration (TY 8/74/17), specifying in TY 8/51 and the ‘Union Catalogue’ (fo. 54r) that it was paid to the Sposino.

    Restored by Sposino, bust alien: ‘may, in part, be ancient’ (McCann).

    * Townley drawing 2010,5006.204;
    * Nollekens: B. F. Cook, `The Townley Marbles in Westminster and Bloomsbury’, The British Museum Yearbook, 2 (1977), 45, figs. 26-27, no. 1;
    * Chambers: B. F. Cook, `The Townley Marbles in Westminster and Bloomsbury’, The British Museum Yearbook, 2 (1977), 42-43, figs. 24-25, no. 6.

    - Synopsis of the Contents of the British Museum (1808), VI.34;
    - Ancient Marbles of the British Museum, X, pl. 11;
    - A Guide to the Graeco-Roman Sculptures in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 2 vols. (London, 1874 [1892] and 1876), I, no. 36;
    - A. H. Smith, A Catalogue of Sculpture in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, British Museum, Vol. III (London 1904), 166, no. 1916;
    - R. P. Hinks, Greek and Roman Portrait Sculpture (London, 1935), 32, pl. 44a;
    - S. Howard, Bartolomeo Cavaceppi, eighteenth-century restorer (PhD thesis 1958; Chicago, 1980), 264, no. 13;
    - K. Fittschen, Prinzenbildnisse antoninischer Zeit. Beiträge zur Erschlieβung hellenistischer und kaiserzeitlicher Skulptur und Architectur 18 (Mainz, 1999), 105, note 491;
    - C. Pietrangeli, Scavi e scoperte di antichità sotto il Pontificio di Pio Sesto (Rome, 1958), 74;
    - A. M. McCann, The portraits of Septimius Severus. Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome 30 (1968), 168, no. 74 (bibl.), pl. 70.


  • Bibliography

    • Sculpture 1916 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Front Hall)

  • Exhibition history


    2006-2007, 16 Nov-11Feb, London, BM, The Past from Above

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number



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Object reference number: GAA9374

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