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Portrait Head of a Youth

A work made of marble.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of marble.


14-68, reworked by the late 4th-early 5th century



About this artwork

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 BC–AD 68) and again during the reign of the emperor Trajan (reigned AD 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.


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Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium


Ancient Roman


Portrait Head of a Youth


Roman Empire (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

14 CE–68 CE




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

Credit Line

Gift of Martin A. Ryerson

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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