A ROMAN MONUMENTAL MARBLE PORTRAIT HEAD OF NERVA, LATE 1ST CENTURY A.D.
with high cheekbones, deep folds flanking the mouth, and heavy lower lids, his hair falling in short comma-shaped locks over the forehead and temples, the neck originally carved for insertion; restorations to lower part of face, nose formerly restored, underside of neck carved flat in modern times.
Height 57 cm. Height of head (from chin to crown) 45 cm.
English private Collection, acquired in the 1960s
Galerie Chenel, Paris, Visage, 2013, pp. 34-35
This head represents the Roman emperor Nerva (reigned A.D. 96-98). Most of his portraits are recarved from portraits of Domitian (see, for example, a head in Rome: K. Fittschen and P. Zanker, Katalog der römischen Porträts in den Capitolinischen Museen, vol. 1, 1985, p. 37, no. 34, pl. 38). The present head appears also to be recarved, based on the cursory workmanship of the back. An "original" portrait of Nerva is in Copenhagen: F. Johansen, Catalogue Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. Roman Portraits, vol. 2, 1995, p. 88f., no. 31.