Bust of L. Licinius Nepos

Object Details


Bust of L. Licinius Nepos






Rome, Lazio, Italy (Place created)


1 - 25




37.5 × 26 × 17.5 cm (14 3/4 × 10 1/4 × 6 7/8 in.)

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An inscription identifies the stern-faced man with strong features and a receding hairline portrayed on this Roman bust as L. Licinius Nepos. The bust was made for display in a family tomb. This placement is confirmed by the inscription, "This is L. Licinius Nepos who made this little house [for his ashes]."

L. Licinius Nepos was a tradesperson and the builder of the tomb. A travertine block found near Porta Pinciana outside Rome in 1756--and originally placed inside the same tomb as the portrait bust--has an extended funerary inscription that confirms his role.

The back of the head was made from a separate piece of marble and is now lost. Two attachment holes are visible on the roughly finished surface of the large portion, as well as the remains of an iron dowel in one of them.

by 1982 - 1985

Maurice Tempelsman (New York, New York), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum through Robin Symes (London, England), 1985.

Classical Connections: The Enduring Influence of Greek and Roman Art (December 16, 2003 to November 9, 2008)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 16, 2003 to November 9, 2008

Vermeule, Cornelius C. Catalogue of a Collection of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities Formed by a Private Collector in New York City During the Past Several Decades. (n.p.: unpublished, 1984), cat. no. 23.

"Acquisitions/1985." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 14 (1986), p. 182, no. 8.

Panciera, S.; Zanker, P., "Il ritratto e l'iscrizione di L. Licinius Nepos," Atti della Pontificia Accademia Romana di Archeologia. Rendiconti 61, 1988-89, pp. 357-384, fig. 1.

Bodel, John, and Stephen Tracy. Greek and Latin Inscriptions in the USA: A Checklist. (New York: American Academy in Rome, 1997), p. 5.

Grossman, Janet Burnett. Looking at Greek and Roman Sculpture in Stone (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003), pp. 55, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010), p. 147.