Portrait of Commodus on an Ancient Unrelated Bust

Portrait of Commodus on an Ancient Unrelated Bust

In the portrait it is possible to recognize Commodus, successor of his father Marcus Aurelius in 180 AD. The oval face is characterized by large eyes marked with iris and pupil with heavy eyelids and fleshy, thick lips. The work seems to derive from a reinterpretation of several official models of the portrait of the young emperor: the physiognomic facial features with a sparse mustache refer to the third type of portraiture made for the accession to the throne of Commodus, while the thick hair and beard refer to the later portrait types. These elements suggest that the portrait was probably made posthumously, following the rehabilitation of Commodus, who suffered damnatio memoriae under the reign of Pertinax. The bust, not relevant, is formed by the integration of two fragments belonging to distinct works. The skillful restoration work of the bust, made with ancient parts, could suggest a provenance of the piece from the study of the restorer Bartolomeo Cavaceppi.

Inventory: MT 559

Material: White marble

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

Dating: Imperial age

Origin: From Ardea or Cavaceppi Studio