Marble Portrait of Empress Faustina Minor

Culture: Roman Empire
Period: 162-176 A.D.
Material: Marble
Dimensions: 30 cm high
Price: Reserved
Ref: 3424
Provenance: Sotheby's London on 9-10 July 1984, lot 332. Thence with Gallery Mahboubian London. There sold on 27 July 1984 to a US private collector.
Condition: The surface slightly roughened due to cleaning, but overall only with minor wear, for example on the nose and cheek. Otherwise in excellent condition.
Description: Life-size marble portrait of Empress Faustina Minor, wife of Marc Aurel. This type of portrait, which depicts the empress between the age of 30 and 40, is considered Type 8 and is associated to the period shortly after her husband came to power. The oval face with the almond-shaped eyes that look out from thick lids exudes here more motherliness and gentleness than in earlier portrait types. The flat upper eyelids are pulled down far. The pupil drill is right below them. This creates a sleepy look that is directed slightly upwards into the indefinite. The mouth with its finely curved lips is slightly open. The empress' artistically designed hair, parted in the middle, is striking. A tightly waved fringe of hair extends from the forehead to the neck. A second, somewhat tighter, braided plait sits above it, on the calotte the hair is finally flat and parted. The fringes of hair are bundled into a large round bun at the back. The hair shows a precise, lively interior drawing and is divided into wavy strands by fine grooves on the surface. The earlobes peek out from under the hair, in front of which small curls cascade on both sides along the cheeks. Mounted.