Relief with a portrait of Agrippa

Roman
Early Imperial Period
about 10 B.C.–A.D. 14


Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 330; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 114 (additional published references).

Dimensions

Height (of the fragment) x width x depth: 34 x 32.5 x 7 cm (13 3/8 x 12 13/16 x 2 3/4 in.)

Accession Number

99.347

Medium or Technique

Marble, probably from Mt. Pentelikon near Athens

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Sculpture

This is a fragment from a large relief, probably representing two or more figures. The head of the middle-aged man in profile to the right has been identified as Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa (64 to 12 B.C.), admiral, lifelong friend, and son-in-law of the Emperor Augustus. Agrippa is probably shown between the years 23 and 21 or 17 to 13 B.C., when he controlled the eastern half of the empire. His deep-set eyes, straight forehead, and firm chin with heavy jaw are characteristics well known from coins bearing his portrait.

Part of the original top of the slab is preserved; the top and rear surfaces were left rough. The area around the face on the front surface was finished with a claw chisel, as was done with certain Greco-Roman copies of famous statues produced in Athenian ateliers. The background has been broken irregularly on the other three edges, most radically behind the head and below the chin. The rim of the ear is broken, and the face has suffered minor nicks. A rich yellow patina now covers the worked surfaces.

Scientific Analysis:

University of South Florida Lab No. 8420: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.4 / delta18O -6.6,

Attribution - Mt. Pentelikon. Justification - C and O isotopes, fine grain, bought in Athens

Provenance

By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: Bought in Athens.); 1899: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 32,500.00 (this is the total price for MFA 99.338-99.542)

Credit Line

Henry Lillie Pierce Fund