Portrait of the Emperor Augustus

Roman Provincial
Early Imperial Period
Late 1st century B.C.–early 1st century A.D.


Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 463; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 117 (additional published references).

Dimensions

Height x width x depth: 32.5 x 21.5 x 16.5 cm (12 13/16 x 8 7/16 x 6 1/2 in.)

Accession Number

1971.325

Medium or Technique

Limestone

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Sculpture

The head, in profile to the left, is from a high relief. The emperor is crowned with a laurel wreath, and he probably wore an elaborately draped toga. He may well have been shown participating in a civic ceremony such as a sacrifice in the presence of other officials and figures of the gods. This is the only surviving portrait of Augustus in Cypriote limestone, and it follows Roman types and fashions more fully than most other Cypriote limestone portraits.
The nose is broken off, as is the back of the relief from cheek to neck. The lower left side of the neck is also broken away. The surfaces are slightly crusty but generally good, and fresh, being gray-white in color.

Provenance

By date unknown: Jerome M. Eisenberg and Frederick Richman Collections (said to be from the Salamis region and from an old American collection [Cesnola?]); gift of Jerome M. Eisenberg and Frederick Richman to MFA, September 15, 1971

Credit Line

Gift of Jerome M. Eisenberg and Fred M. Richman