Portrait head of the Emperor Domitian (A.D. 69–98) from a relief

Roman Provincial
Early Imperial Period
A.D. 75–95

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), no. 044.


Height: 30 cm (11 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Marble from Dokimeion (modern Afyon) in west-central Asia Minor

Not On View


The Ancient World



Slightly over-lifesize head, turned slightly toward subject’s left. Hair in two rows of curling locks around broad forehead; deep-set eyes, unexpressed pupils; mouth slightly open. Head and neck broken diagonally at back; subject’s left ear, most of nose missing; chipping over right eyebrow.

Asia Minor.

Scientific Analysis:
Harvard Lab No. HI746: Isotope ratios - delta13C +1.08 / delta18O -4.34, Attribution - Dokimeion, Justification - Fine grained marble with zones of large quartz-like formations.


December 6, 1971, anonymous sale, Sotheby's, London, lot 89, sold to D. Katz, probably Daniel Katz Gallery, London [see note 1]. Probably Herbert Cahn (b. 1915 - d. 2002; founder of Münzen und Medaillen), Basel [see note 2]; March 14-15, 1975, anonymous sale (Auktion 51), Münzen und Medaillen A.G., Basel, lot 278. By 1975, Ariel and John Herrmann; 1983, year-end gift of Ariel and John Herrmann to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 30, 1983)

NOTES: [1] Many thanks to Jörg Deterling for locating this record. [2] Curatorial notes state that the sculpture adorned "the office of a professor at Heidelberg University" in the early 1970s. Herbert Cahn held an honorary professorship at the University of Heidelberg from 1971 until 1986.

Credit Line

Gift of Ariel and John Herrmann