About This Artwork

Roman

Head of a Youth, 27 B.C.-A.D. 117

Marble
35.6 x 21.6 x 16.5 cm (14 x 8 1/2 x 6 1/2 in.)

Gift of Martin A. Ryerson, 1889.105

In the Roman world, portraits were often recarved in order to alter the sculpture’s function, meaning, or identity. It is possible that this portrait head was altered at a later date because it includes features associated with different periods. The man’s hairstyle, with locks of hair neatly arranged across the forehead, recalls those worn by men during the Julio-Claudian dynasty (27 B.C.–A.D. 68) and again during the reign of the emperor Trajan (A.D. 98–117). However, the drill marks in his large eyes were likely added at a later date, perhaps even centuries later, when the recarving of portraits became a much more common practice due to shortages of marble.

—Permanent collection label



This work appears in the online catalogue Roman Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, featuring art historical essays and conservation reports on artworks from the ancient Roman world in the Art Institute’s collection. Many of the objects are published here for the first time. The entries include new high-resolution photography, stunning 360-degree views of the works, and in-depth technical imaging and analysis. The volume is free to the public. The project received generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The catalogue was built using the OSCI Toolkit, an open-source digital authoring and publishing platform. Find the Art Institute's toolkit customizations and additions on github under the OSCI-Toolkit, OSCI-Toolkit-Frontend, and ChicagoCodeX repositories.


This work appears in the online catalogue Roman Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, featuring art historical essays and conservation reports on artworks from the ancient Roman world in the Art Institute’s collection. Many of the objects are published here for the first time. The entries include new high-resolution photography, stunning 360-degree views of the works, and in-depth technical imaging and analysis. The volume is free to the public. The project received generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The catalogue was built using the OSCI Toolkit, an open-source digital authoring and publishing platform. Find the Art Institute's toolkit customizations and additions on github under the OSCI-Toolkit, OSCI-Toolkit-Frontend, and ChicagoCodeX repositories.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

The Art Institute of Chicago, Of Gods and Glamour: The Mary and Michael Jaharis Galleries of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Art, Gallery 152, November 11, 2012 - present.

Publication History

Alexander, Karen B. 2012. "From Plaster to Stone: Ancient Art at The Art Institute of Chicago." in Recasting the Past: Collecting and Presenting Antiquities at the Art Institute of Chicago, by Karen Manchester, pp. 18-19. Art Institute of Chicago/Yale University Press.




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