Priestess of the Imperial Cult

Roman
2nd century A.D.
A.D. 170–180
Marble
13 1/4 x 10 5/8 x 9 5/8 in. (33.6 x 27 x 24.5 cm)
AP 1969.18
Currently On View
This head of a young woman was originally part of a full-length, draped statue. It was formerly identified as a portrait of Faustina the Younger, wife of the emperor Marcus Aurelius and daughter of Antoninus Pius. But it does not conform closely to any of Faustina’s accepted numismatic or sculptural likenesses, and is more plausibly identified as a priestess of the imperial cult. The work is datable on stylistic grounds to the period A.D. 170–80, and the three now-headless busts emerging from the headband represented Marcus Aurelius (reigned A.D. 161–80) and other members of the Antonine line—perhaps Hadrian and Antoninus Pius.

Provenance

(Mathias Komor, New York); purchased by Kimbell Art Foundation, Fort Worth, 1969.