Roman Bronze Bust of a Man – Imago Clipeata
Culture: Roman, Ro-Imperial
Period: Circa 2nd century A.D.
Dimensions: Height: 27.9 cm
American Art Market, acquired in 2000. Ex-Japanese private collection.
Excellent state of preservation, intact, with smooth surface and deep red green patina.
A very fine Roman bronze bust, perhaps an imago clipeata, depicted wearing a toga over a simple tunic, clutching an undulating snake to his chest. The distinctive physiognomy of the man is veristically rendered with a slight double chin, the fleshy lips indented below the lower lip and at the corners, with a deep filtrum, the long nose rounded at its end, the nostrils slightly flaring, the concave lidded eyes beneath heavy modelled brows, the pupils drilled and perhaps originally inlaid, the ears prominent, his hair arranged in four tiers of short wavy locks radiating down from the crown, each lock enhanced by incising, with one large lock swept up from the centre of the forehead and terminating in tight curl. The presence of the snake strongly suggests an association with the cult of Asclepius. This portrait may represent a priest of the god’s cult.
KRUG, A.: Heilkunst und Heilkult, Medizin in der Antike, Munich, 1985, p. 200. fig. 90.