Portrait of a young man

Early Imperial Period\
about A.D. 1–50

Place of Manufacture: Italy, Lazio, Rome

Catalogue Raisonné

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.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Marble, from Mt. Pentelikon near Athens

On View

Roman Art Gallery (Gallery 213)


The Ancient World



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)

Credit Line

Benjamin Pierce Cheney Donation