Bust of Lucius Verus
The portrait of Lucius Verus is characterized by a thick beard and curly hair. He became emperor in 161 AD and reigned together with his adoptive brother Marcus Aurelius, marrying his daughter, Lucilla. The smoothness of his face contrasts with the swirls of the hair, rendered with the drill, giving a suggestive chiaroscuro effect to the work. The sculpture shows an increased volume of the hair, which indicates a desire of the emperor to be portrayed with splendor. As documented by ancient authors, the hair of Lucius Verus was sprinkled with gold dust so that it could shine in the sunlight. The Torlonia portrait is an exceptional replica of the “main type” and was found, according to Visconti, in Acquatraversa (Rome) where the Emperor owned a sumptuous villa.
Inventory: MT 556
Material: White marble
Technique: Work sculpted through the use of: chisels (also square-tipped and toothed) rasps
Dating: Imperial age
Origin: From Acquatraversa (Rome)