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ID number:  BIRBI-62.8
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Roman
Title / Object name:  Head of a man
Object type:  Sculpture
Culture:  Roman
Date made:  1st century AD
Materials:  Marble
Measurements:  34.1 cm high
Provenance:  Known to have been in Europe prior to 1962,; purchased from K.J Hewett Ltd., London, November 1962, for £700

The development of Roman portraiture is characterised by a stylistic cycle that alternately emphasised realistic or idealising elements. This battered bust (possibly re-carved), with its lifelike wrinkles and folds of skin tempered by classical, regular features, would seem typical of portraits from the 1st century AD. It may have accompanied the ashes of the subject in a communal tomb. Such classical prototypes would be a critical influence on the art of portrait sculpture from the Renaissance onwards.

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