Portrait of Severus Alexander on Modern Bust

Portrait of Severus Alexander on Modern Bust

Thanks to numismatic comparisons, it is possible to recognize in this portrait the young Severus Alexander. There are not many portraits of him preserved, for this reason the iconography of the ruler is often confused with that of other young emperors such as Philip II, son of Philip the Arab, whom Visconti had seen portrayed in this example. Among the most identifying and high formal quality replicas is the Torlonia portrait, mounted on a modern bust with lorica and cloak. The face of Severus Alexander is characterized by large eyes that bring expressive force to the portrait and full and fleshy lips. The smoothness of the surfaces combines perfectly with the detailed rendering of beard and hair, superbly worked with the use of the chisel. The portrait type was prepared at the moment of the young man's accession to the throne, in 222 AD following the killing of the eccentric cousin Heliogabalus.

Inventory: MT 593

Material: White marble

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

Dating: Imperial era

Origin: Giustiniani Collection