Portrait of a young man
about A.D. 98–117
Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 352.
46.5 x 16 cm (18 5/16 x 6 5/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Marble from Göktepe, Turkey (near Aphrodisias)
Not On View
This portrait was supposedly found outside the quarter of Porta Salaria where large tombs were discovered and probably commemorates a deceased person.
The arrangement of the young man’s hair and the length of the bust, to the bottom of the ribcage, follow fashions set by court portraitists under the Emperor Trajan (A.D. 98-117). This bust was carved about A.D. 110.
The break along the lower edge suggests that a large acanthus leaf once supported the bust-a typical convention for portraits of the dead.
Most of the nose and a piece of the brow are restored. The chin and the lower edge of the bust are slightly damaged. The surfaces are covered with root marks, and they have a mottled yellow and brown coloring.
University of South Florida Lab No. 8427: Isotope ratios - delta13C +1.9 / delta18O -2.9,
Istituto di Struttura della Materia - CNR Lab No. 1 (January 30, 2012): maximum grain size: 0.4mm; electron paramagnetic resonance: intensity 3.7%, line width 51.5%; color % 82
Attribution - Göktepe, Turkey (near Aphrodisias). Justification - C and O isotopes, fine grain, low EPR intensity
By 1888: with Eliseo Borghi (said to have been found in the new quarter outside the Porta Salaria in Rome); purchased by R. Lanciani from Eliseo Borghi; purchased by MFA from R. Lanciani, 1888, for $491.89 (this is the total purchase price for MFA 88.346–530)