Portrait of a man

Roman
Early Imperial Period
31 B.C–A.D. 14


Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 340; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 114 (additional published references).

Dimensions

Height: 34.5 cm (13 9/16 in.)

Accession Number

96.699

Medium or Technique

Marble, from Mt. Pentelikon near Athens

On View

Classical Roman Gallery (Gallery 213)

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Sculpture

The man resembles the subjects of other portraits of the decades around A.D. 50, the so called Gnaeus Domitian Corbulo, Nero’s famous general. Found in the hypogeum called “Torraccetto” in the area of the via Flaminia in Rome. His hair is brushed forward and ends in a nearly straight line across the forehead, and short locks are chiseled lightly on the fairly smooth surface.

The neck has been broken into four pieces, put together without restoration and leaving slight breaks on the right side, a small hole on the left. The tip of the left ear is missing, and there are some remains of incrustation on the left side.

Provenance

February 27, 1894, excavated by Massimiliano Pirani from a site near the Via Flaminia, not far from the Casale di Grottarossa, Rome [see note 1]. By 1896, purchased on the art market, Rome, by Edward Perry Warren (b. 1860 – d. 1928), London [see note 2]; October, 1896, sold by Warren to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 1, 1896)

NOTES:
[1] See Rodolfo Amadeo Lanciani, Storia degli scavi di Roma e notizie intorno le collezioni romane, vol. 1 (1902), p. 28; and Andrea Venier, "I Mosaici ritrovati nell'800 sulla via Flaminia ed esposti in America," available online at http://www.vignaclarablog.it/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/i-mosaici-ritrov..., who identifies the MFA bust as a portrait of Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo. This was one of eleven marble heads that were found at that time.

[2] According to Warren’s records, this was found in the area of the the Prima Porta near Rome. When it was on the art market, it was photographed. For further information see M. B. Comstock and C. C. Vermeule, Sculpture in Stone: the Greek, Roman and Etruscan Collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1976), p. 215, no. 340.

Credit Line

Catharine Page Perkins Fund