Roman Bronze Figure of a Togate Youth
Period: Imperial, 1st century A.D.
Material: Bronze and silver inlays
Dimensions: Height: 18.2 cm; Height with pedestal: 26.4 cm
Ex-German private collection.
Beautiful light green patina with some incrustations on the exterior folds and on the back. The statue is in overall excellent condition. Its right arm is missing from just above the elbow, its right foot, the tip of its nose, and the top portion of the scroll held in the left hand. Its original attachment to the pedestal is gone along with the top of the pedestal itself.
This wonderful small bronze figure of a Roman youth is probably a member of the Imperial Family, dressed as a veiled priest or magistrate. The figure with silver-inlaid eyes, is enveloped in a toga and veil characterized by their extremely fluid and graceful drapery. The extended left hand holds half of a broken scroll and the missing right arm may have held a patera. The overall posture is commonly found in marble statues from the 1st century A.D. The statue was probably attached in the back to the stepped, rectangular pedestal on which it now stands.
The small size of the statue, the thin profile of the head and upper body, and the somewhat Augustan or Julio-Claudian traits reflected in the face all indicate that the statue was made, probably as a public or personal votive offering, in a central Italian workshop, such as that which produced the large votive bronzes from Nemi.
MITTEN D.G., DOERINGER S.F., Master Bronzes from the Classical World, ex. Cat. Fogg Art Museum, City Art Mueseum of St-Louis, L.A. County Museum, 1968, no. 243, p.253.
LAMB W., Greek and Roman Bronzes, London, 1929, pl. LXXXV, no.b, from the British Museum.
KOZLOFF A., MITTEN D.G., The Gods Delight, Cleveland Museum of Art, 1988, no.63, pp.329-332.