The J. Paul Getty Museum

Portrait Head of a Balding Man

Object Details

Title:

Portrait Head of a Balding Man

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

Roman

Place:

Asia Minor (Place Created)

Date:

about A.D. 240

Medium:

Marble

Object Number:

85.AA.112

Dimensions:

25.5 × 22.5 × 23 cm (10 1/16 × 8 7/8 × 9 1/16 in.)

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Object Description

The detailed craftsmanship of this distinctive portrayal of a bearded, balding older man may indicate that he is someone of importance, perhaps a magistrate. With its deeply incised pupils and furrowed brow, the portrait has a look of distracted weariness and introspection that is characteristic of a period when the Roman Empire was threatened by barbarians, internal unrest, plague, and famine. The contrasting textures of the smoothly polished skin and the deeply drilled curls of the hair and beard are features of sculpture of the mid-200s A.D.

The unusual blue-gray marble used for this portrait comes from a site in Turkey near the Sea of Marmara and may indicate that the subject of this portrait lived in that area of the Roman Empire.

Provenance
Provenance
by 1982 - 1985

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

Bibliography
Bibliography

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 (n.p.: unpublished, 1984), cat.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. 183, no. 10.

The J. Paul Getty Museum. Special Events, July 8-13, 1986, p. 1.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), p. 28.

Penny, Nicholas. The Materials of Sculpture. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993), pl. 45.

Frel, Jiří. "The Portraits of Demetrios Polioketes by Lysippos and Teisikrates." In Studia Varia (Rome: Bretschneider, 1994), "Notes on Roman Portraits: I Varia," pp. 121-37, viz. pp. 127-28, no. 10; fig. 120. Frel says the portrait is a "general of Septimius Severus," circa A.D. 200, from Egypt, and represents the same person as two others in Munich.

Zanker, Paul. The Mask of Socrates. The Image of the Intellectual in Antiquity. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995, p. 224; fig. 122b.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 28.

Towne Markus, Elana. Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Antiquities. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 123.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 28.

Danguillier, C. Typologische Untersuchungen zur Dichter- und Denkerikonographie in römischen Darstellungen von der mittleren Kaiserzeit bis in die Spätantike. BAR International Series 977. (Oxford : Archaeopress, 2001), pp. 39-40, 48, 243 cat. no. 84 [without acc. no.].

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection (Los Angeles: 2002), p. 172.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), p. 11, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010), p. 172.

Fittschen, Klaus, Paul Zanker, and Petra Cain. Katalog der römischen Porträts in den Capitolinischen Museen und den anderen kommunalen Sammlungen der Stadt Rom, II: Die männlichen Privatporträts (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2010), p. 124n3g.