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Superb Roman Bronze Portrait Bust of Marcus Aurelius

Superb Roman Bronze Portrait Bust of Marcus Aurelius


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Roman: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1362411
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290 Fillmore St. #D
Denver, CO. 80206
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 $3,675.00 
$3,675.00

This superb Roman bronze is a portrait bust of the Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius, and dates circa 170-180 A.D. This mesmerizing piece is approximately 1.35 inches high, by .8 inches wide, and is a complete bust with most of the lower neck. This piece was part of a figurine, and was broken at the lower neckline, and the bust is a complete example, with no cracks and no other noticeable areas of damage. This realistic portrait bust is in superb condition, and has a beautiful light to dark green patina with some minute red spotty highlights. In addition, there are some light green and blue deposits seen mostly on the inner surface of the piece. This piece is classified as a "Type IV" portrait of Marcus Aurelius, as it shows the emperor in an advanced age with a very full beard. The beard is also divided in the center of the chin that also shows parallel locks of hair. This "Type IV" convention of art can easily be seen on this portrait bust, along with the distinctive arc of hair that frames the forehead. The emperor is also seen wearing a diadem crown in the hair which also signifies the wearer as being regal in status. The overall look of the face also conveys the Stoic nature of this emperor-philosopher, and conveys a peaceful ideal. (For the portrait type see: Klaus Fittschen and P. Zanker, "Katalog Der Romischen Portrats in den Capitolinischen Museen und den Anderen Kommunalen Sammlungen der Stadt Rom", 3V., Berlin: P. von Zabern, 1983-2010.) Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus ruled from circa 161-180 A.D., along with Lucius Verus as co-emperor from circa 161 until Verus' death in 169. During his reign, the empire defeated a revitalized Parthian empire, and fought the Marcomanni, Quadi, and Sarmations with success during the Marcomannic Wars, but it was the Germanic tribes that Marcus fought incessantly with during the remaining years of his rule. The realistic portrait bust offered here was likely created during this time, and is likely a provincial portrait, which may also have been in a private shrine where the Roman legions were stationed near Germania along the Danube. Whatever the case, this portrait served a Roman well in the period in which it was created, and is an excellent image of this important emperor. This attractive piece also sits on a custom display stand, and can easily be removed. Ex: Private Swiss collection. Ex: Phoenix Ancient Art, New York and Geneva, Switzerland. Ex: Private New York collection. I certify that this piece is authentic as to date, culture, and condition: