Portrait of Domitian
about A.D. 70–75
Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 346; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 115 (additional published references).
26.2 x 14 cm (10 5/16 x 5 1/2 in.)
Medium or Technique
marble from Mt. Pentelikon (near Athens)
Not On View
The neck has been worked for insertion, probably in a draped and/or cuirassed bust. A split in the neck has been restored. The condition is excellent, the surfaces having a crusty yellowish patina.
If this is a likeness of Domitian rather than a private person portrayed in his image, it must have been fashioned for a small private chapel of the Flavian cult. The quality of carving is hardly different from the ordinary run of early to middle imperial funerary portraits.
University of South Florida Lab No. 8467: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.7 / delta18O -8.7,
Attribution - Mt. Pentelikon (near Athens). Justification - C and O isotopes.
By date unknown: said to be in the Ludovisi Collection; by 1888: with R. Lanciani (said to come from the Ludovisi villa); purchased by MFA from R. Lanciani, December 8, 1888, for $173.91 (this is the total price for MFA 89.4-89.8)
Benjamin Pierce Cheney Donation