Roman Marble Portrait Head of a Man
An ancient Roman over life-size marble portrait head of a bearded man with a deeply furrowed brow. His hair is distinctive, rendered in thick, short locks parted on the right side. The eyes are carved with incised irises and drilled pupils.
Ca. 3rd century AD.
This portrait was carved at a time of chaos and uncertainty in the Roman Empire. In the second half of the 3rd century AD, the Persians were pressuring the Eastern provinces, and the Germans were descending from the north. The Emperor Trajan Decius was killed in battle by the Goths in 251 AD. He was followed by a number of short lived military dictators.
Formerly in the collection of Arnold Herstand (1925-1989), a painter, university administrator, and art dealer, owner of the Arnold Herstand & Co. gallery in New York City.