Bust of Domitian, possibly re-carved into a Constantinian emperor

Roman (?)
Imperial Period or later
Early 4th or 17th century A.D.

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 379; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 116 (additional published references).


39.2 x 13 cm (15 7/16 x 5 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Marble from Carrara, Italy

Not On View


The Ancient World



The tip of the nose has been broken away, and a chip is gone from the neck; the surfaces are somewhat discolored, the yellow patina having been scraped and cleaned away.

Scientific Analysis:

University of South Florida Lab No. 8468: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.3 / delta18O -2.5,

Istituto di Struttura della Materia - CNR Lab No. 3 (January 30, 2012): maximum grain size: 0.5mm; electron paramagnetic resonance: intensity 32.8%, line width 60.5%; Sr ppm 196

Attribution - Carrara, Italy. Justification - fine grain, low EPR intensity, C and O isotopes, moderate Sr

Probability of correct quarry assignment (Istituto di Struttura della Materia - CNR Lab No. 3; January 30, 2012):

distance of sample from center of quarry probability field: 6.6; relative probability: 90%; absolute probability 16%


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)

Credit Line

Benjamin Pierce Cheney Fund