- Museum number
Marble portrait head from a statue of a Julio-Claudian prince, perhaps the younger Drusus, son of the emperor Tiberius.
- Production date
- 20-40 (circa)
Height: 36.83 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- This is a rare sculpture probably carved on Cyprus by a sculptor familiar with Cypriot traditions of working in limestone but using imported marble.
The marble of this piece has a slightly greyish tinge. It resembles, and may be, Proconnesian marble from the sea of Marmara. The back of the head was never finished and is now partly split away and partly hewn out, though the neck is worked to fit a complete statue. The flat planes of the carving suggest that it was made by a sculptor familiar with the carving of limestone. Thus it was possibly carved in Cyprus alongside other Roman sculptures of imported marble.
The portrait has the characteristics of the younger Drusus (15 BC - AD 23), son of Emperor Tiberius, as shown on his coins. Note in particular the slightly curving nose, the arching eyebrows and the hair that falls down low over the forehead. Portraiture played a vital role in establishing the public identity of the first imperial family of Rome. While often regarded - inaccurately - as a provinicial backwater, the island was important for its natural resources, notably grain, copper and timber.
Walker S. 1995, Greek and Roman portraits (London).
Smith A H. 1904, Ccatalogue of Greeek sculpture in the British Museum, vol. 3 (London), no. 1882.
Daszewski W.A. 1994, 'Marble sculptures in Nea Paphos: Cypriot or imported', in Cypriote stone sculpture. Proceedings of the Second International Conference of Cypriote Studies, Brussels-Liège, 17-19 May, 1993 (Brussels-Liège), pp. 153-60.
- On display (G72)
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Originally exhibited in the Cyprus Court of the the Imperial and Colonial Exhibition (Lang 1886, no. 350, p. 38). See vendor's letters of 6 Oct. and 27 Nov. 1886 (GR Original Letters).
Lang R.H. 1886, Colonial and Indian Exhibition 1886. Handbook to Cyprus (with map of island) and catalogue of the exhibits (London).
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number