Portrait of a woman

Early Imperial Period
31 B.C.–A.D. 14

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 333; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 114 (additional published references).


Height x length (of face): 34.5 x 16.2 cm (13 9/16 x 6 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Roman Art Gallery (Gallery 213)


The Ancient World



This type of bust, which includes only the upper part of the shoulders and breast, dates to the Julio-Claudian period or slightly earlier. Her hairstyle features a nodus (literally, a knot) over her forehead, a from the end of the republic into the reign of Tiberius.

Her hair is divided by two parallel partings into three portions. The middle section is brushed forward to form a roll above the forehead and is then divided into two braids wound around the head. The lateral sections cover the tips of the ears in wavy strands, to the back of the neck, where the ends of all three sections are gathered into a knot. The surface above the braids has fine parallel lines engraved on it.

The tip of the nose is restored in plaster; there are hardly even any minor dents, and the surfaces are only slightly darkened or toned.


By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: originally bought at Capua); 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