Bust of Hadrian

A virtuous image of Emperor Hadrian is represented in this bust, with his head decidedly turned to the right. The emperor is portrayed with a penetrating and concentrated gaze, the face is framed by a crown of locks and by a wavy beard. The bust displays a tunic covered by a muscle cuirass with a rectangular collar decorated in the center with a winged Gorgon’s head and on the shoulder straps with bearded virile figures in low relief. The Torlonia specimen is assimilated to the portrait type called Emperors 32 created in 128 AD on the occasion of the new title of Hadrian as pater patriae. Among the twenty-six known replicas of this type, the best copies are that of the Capitoline Museums and the Torlonia one. The official image of the emperor, is transmitted with the shoulder straps decorated with two masculine figures, interpreted as Jupiter or Cecrops, the first mythological king of Athens. This links the deep love and interest of Hadrian for the Greek world. The Torlonia replica was probably created in an Attic workshop or a Roman atelier run by Greek artists.

Inventory: MT 545

Material: White marble

Technique: Work sculpted through the use of: chisels (also square-tipped and toothed) rasps

Dating: Imperial age

Origin: Villa Albani