Portrait of a young man
Early Imperial Period\
about A.D. 1–50
Place of Manufacture: Italy, Lazio, Rome
Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 339; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 114 (additional published references).
38 x 16 cm (14 15/16 x 6 5/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Marble, from Mt. Pentelikon near Athens
Roman Art Gallery (Gallery 213)
The treatment of the hair and the general proportions and shape of the bust suggest a date in the Augustan or Julio-Claudian periods. In all likelihood, the man is of North African descent and was in Rome either through an official capacity or as a slave or freed slave. This likeness may be a funerary portrait from a columbarium, a form of communal mausoleum.
The nose was originally restored, but that restoration has since been removed. Much of the right ear and a bit of the left are missing. Otherwise the head has a fresh, unscraped surface, with a yellow patina.
By 1888: with Luigi Jandolo (said to have been found in Rome); purchased by R. Lanciani from Luigi Jandolo; purchased by MFA from R. Lanciani, 1888, for $493.92 (this figure is the total price of MFA 88.538–88.644 and 89.9–89.31)
Benjamin Pierce Cheney Donation