Portrait of a bald man

Roman
Late Republican Period
about 60–30 B.C.


Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 321; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 114 (additional published references).

Dimensions

Height x length (of face): 33 x 25 cm (13 x 9 13/16 in.)

Accession Number

99.343

Medium or Technique

Marble, from Dokimeion in Phrygia (modern Turkey)

On View

Classical Roman Gallery (Gallery 213)

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Sculpture

The over-life sized portrait presents an old man either completely bald or with his head closely shaven. The surface was left slightly rough at the back of the skull, indicating a draped statue set in a niche or against a wall. Unsparing naturalism has been used for all individual details, the ugly outline of the skull, the furrowed forehead, the swelling beneath the eyes, and the loose flesh hanging in folds and creases about mouth and jaw.

The man has not been identified.

Palombino, a hard volcanic stone, was used in Rome chiefly at the end of the Republican period.

Little of the neck is preserved. Most of the nose is missing; the ears, chin, temples, and right cheekbone have been damaged.

Provenance

By 1899: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: Bought in Rome. 1899); 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