c. AD 165
Overall: 25.4 cm (10 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1925.161
Scholars have disagreed about this portrait's identity—probably an empress, either Faustina Minor or Lucilla.
Acquired in 1925, this head was initially identified as a portrait of the Empress Lucilla (lived AD 149-182), wife of the Emperor Lucius Verus, who co-ruled with Marcus Aurelius from AD 161-169. More recently, scholars have identified the portrait as a representation of the Empress Faustina Minor (lived c. AD 130-176/177), wife of Marcus Aurelius (r. 161-180) and mother of Lucilla. The two women, relatively close in age, share a number of portrait features: heavy-lidded eyes, with incised irises and pupils; small mouth; and a distinctive hairstyle, parted in the center and pulled back in waves to a braided knot at the base of the neck.
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