The world-renowned Capitoline Brutus is on loan from Italy

Don’t miss your chance to see one of the icons of Roman art on view in the MFA’s Roman Art Gallery only through May 1. The Capitoline “Brutus,” a world-famous bronze portrait of a Roman statesman is on loan from the Palazzo dei Conservatori/Capitoline Museum, Rome, for just a short time. The loan of this extraordinary work of art is part of an ongoing partnership between the Museum of Fine Arts and Italy that started with the transfer of thirteen antiquities to Italy in 2006. The head is believed to be of L. Junius Brutus, founder of the Roman Republic, and possibly ancestor to the Brutus who assassinated Caesar. Long associated with liberty—and one of the earliest examples of Western portraiture—this image has been an icon of Roman art since its discovery in the 16th century.

Above: Head of a bearded man known as “Brutus.” Roman Republican period, probably around 300 BC. Bronze with inlaid bone and glass eyes; Renaissance-era marble bust. Palazzo dei Conservatori inv. 1183, Capitoline, Rome.