Collection online

portrait bust

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Marble bust of the emperor Hadrian wearing military dress.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 125-130 (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 83 centimetres
    • Width: 64.5 centimetres
    • Depth: 35 centimetres
    • Weight: 83 kilograms
  • Curator's comments

    Type Chiaramonti 392

    C. Evers considered this bust the main replica of workshop 'C' in her typology of Hadrian's portraits.
    Very similar is the fragmentary portrait now in the Shelby-White collection in New York (formerly in the eighteenth-century British collection of Thomas Mansel-Talbot), also from Hadrian's villa.
    Cf. C. Evers, Les portraits d'Hadrien: Typologie et ateliers (Brussels 1994), 126-127 no. 59; 319-324 figs. 51-52.Opper 2008

    Wegner (1956), pp. 27, 57, 69, 101; Raeder (1983), pp. 40-1; Fittschen & Zanker (1983), pp. 46-8; Wegner (1984), p. 122; Evers (1994), no. 59.Cook 2013, nr. 36:
    Townley's description; ‘A Bust of Hadrian with the Paludamentum over the military cuiras, found with many other valuable marbles in the grounds belonging to the Cavaliere Lolli, who retained it in his possession till his death, which happened in 1767. His grounds adjoined to those of the Conte de Fede, and occupy part of the site of that Emperor’s magnificent Villa near Tivoli’ (Towneley Hall Catalogue, in Townley’s own hand on a slip of paper pasted over the previous text, which was presumably a verbatim copy of the shorter version in the ‘L’ Catalogue (TY 12/3); Chambers, dining room 26).
    Found about 1740 (TY 10/3, which adds that Lolli was the father of Domenico de Angelis).
    Bought from Jenkins in 1768 for £70 (TY 10/2; TY 10/3, fo. 20; TY 10/5-7; TY 12/1). The bust is listed in TY 10/1, but the price in Scudi is not stated. It was omitted from the list of objects bought from Jenkins in the 'Union Catalogue', presumably by an oversight.

    * Townley drawing 2010,5006.131, attributed ‘very probably’ to Metz [I. D. Jenkins].
    * Nollekens: B. F. Cook, `The Townley Marbles in Westminster and Bloomsbury', The British Museum Yearbook, 2 (1977), 45, figs. 26-27, no. 16.
    * Chambers: B. F. Cook, `The Townley Marbles in Westminster and Bloomsbury', The British Museum Yearbook, 2 (1977), 42-43, figs. 24-25, no. 21. * There is also a drawing in the Society of Antiquaries.

    - Synopsis of the Contents of the British Museum (1808) VI.29.
    - Ancient Marbles of the British Museum, X, pl. 8.
    - A Guide to the Graeco-Roman Sculptures in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities (Synopsis of the Contents of the British Museum) (2 vols., London 1874 [2nd ed. 1879] and 1876), I, no. 17.
    - Hermann Winnefeld, Die Villa des Hadrien bei Tivoli (JdI Ergänzungsheft III, Berlin 1895), 159.
    - A. H. Smith, A Catalogue of Sculpture in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, British Museum, Vol. III (London 1904), 157-8, no. 1896, pl. 16.1.
    - M. Wegner, Hadrian, Plotina, Marciana, Matidia, Sabina (Das römische Herrscherbild, II.3, Berlin 1956), 101.
    - B. F. Cook, The Townley Marbles (London 1985), 13, fig. 7.
    - Susan Walker, Greek and Roman Portraits (London 1995), 91, fig. 65.


  • Bibliography

    • Opper 2008 126 bibliographic details
    • Sculpture 1896 bibliographic details
    • Parkinson 2013 pp. 54-5 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    2008, 24 Jul-26 Aug, London, BM, 'Hadrian: Empire and Conflict' 2009, 29 Jun-11 Aug, Carlisle, Hadrians Wall Pilgrimage 2009 ,11 Aug-5 Oct, Carlisle, Hadrians Wall Pilgrimage 2012, 26 Mar-17 Jul, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Manarat Al Saadiyat, 'Treasures of the British Museum' 2012-2013, Nov-Apr, Bonn, Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, 'Treasures of the World's Cultures'.
    2015-2016, 4 Dec-3 July, National Museum of Singapore, ‘Treasures of the World’s Cultures’

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number



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Object reference number: GAA9375

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