Roman Marble Bust of a Girl with the Features of Fulvia Plautilla

Culture: Roman
Period: Severan Period, 193-235 A.D.
Material: Marble
Dimensions: 60 cm high
Price: 38 000 Euro
Ref: 3377
Provenance: Private collection of the 17th-18th century, based on the plinth. Thence in the private collection of a French composer, acquired in the 1940s. Bonhams auction London of 5 October 2001, lot 137.
Condition: Nose restored, otherwise only minor wear. Head is set in a bust of the 17th or 18th century.
Description: Magnificent marble portrait of a young woman, resembling to the well-known depiction of Fulvia Plautilla, wife of the later Emperor Caracalla. The girl slightly gazing to the right, with large eyes between thick lids, iris and pupils are worked out. The brows are worked into the stone. The chubby cheeks still very childish, though the expression already noble, with closed mouth and solemn features. Her hair pulled back in parallel streaks, thereby numerous details are worked out. At the back the hair is braided to a flat bun. The neck is slender and yet covered with soft lines. The head sits on an elaborately worked out bust from the 17th or 18th century. The nipples were once with metal pins, today marble ones are in place. The hairstyle, mouth and heavy lids resemble to the portraits attributed to Fulvia Plautilla, wife of the later Emperor Caracalla. Plautilla was banned after the annulation of their marriage. After Caracalla took up the reign he ordered his former wife to be killed. See for reference of a Plautilla portrait in the Archaeological Museum Naples with inventory number 6189.