Bust of an old man

Imperial Period
about 30 B.C.–A.D. 50


height x width (max.): 35.5 x 25 cm (14 x 19 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Marble, from Carrara in northwest Italy

On View

Roman Art Gallery (Gallery 213)


The Ancient World



One sees here a man with close-cropped hair and a cap-like ridge on his forehead. He has thin, slanted brows and close-set eyes. His face is thin, drawn, and bony with sagging jowls; but he has a stong chin with dimple. The underside of was bust shaved flat near the front as if at one point the bust was adapted for another use.

Encrustation is present on the surface of the marble, especially over proper left side. There is an old gash on back of head, part of the nose is missing, and there is an old chip from the chin and edges of the bust.

Scientific Analysis:
Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.115 / delta18O -1.661, Attribution - Carrara, Justification (Petrographic Analysis) - maximum grain size (0.9 mm).


By 1991: with Edoardo Almagià, 136 East 56th Street, New York, NY 10022; purchased by MFA from Edoardo Almagià, May 22, 1991

Credit Line

Bequest of Benjamin Rowland, Jr., by exchange, and Frank B. Bemis Fund, John H. and Ernestine A. Payne Fund, and Mary S. and Edward Jackson Holmes Fund