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Portrait Head of a Man

A work made of marble.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of marble.


Mid–3rd century



About this artwork

This head, which depicts a man crowned with a wreath, might be a portrait of an emperor. His facial features, including almond-shaped eyes, tight-lipped mouth, faint mustache, and neck whiskers, as well as his triangular head, which tapers toward the chin, suggest his possible identification as Gallienus (r. A.D. 253–68). This type of wreath, which is composed of grape vines and ivy, was worn by Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and theater. Emperors frequently associated themselves with gods by adopting their attributes, or symbols, as numerous emperors portrayed themselves in the guise of Jupiter (the Greek Zeus), the supreme god of the pantheon.


On View, Gallery 154


Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium


Ancient Roman


Portrait Head of a Man


Italy (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.

230 CE–270 CE




38.1 × 26.7 × 24.1 cm (15 × 10 1/2 × 9 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Katherine K. Adler Memorial Fund

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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