The J. Paul Getty Museum

Statue of a Draped Woman

Object Details


Statue of a Draped Woman






Italy (Place Created)


A.D. 160–190



Object Number:



191 cm (75 3/16 in.)

See more

See less

Object Description

This marble sculpture wrapped in heavy drapery is an over-life-size portrait of an older patrician woman. Roman sculptors borrowed the idea of depicting heavily draped women from Greek statues of the Hellenistic period. The fabric hides the body, and the focus of the work becomes the clothing itself with its folds, creases, and contrasting textures. This body type was used for a wide range of female statues in the Hellenistic period, from goddesses to queens to anonymous women; only the head varied. Unlike Hellenistic statues, however, the portrait head of this statue is distinctively Roman. The identity of the female figure is unknown, but the large scale of the sculpture suggests that she was of exceptionally high stature. The head (2016.38) was separated from this sculpture sometime between 1937 and 1972, when the Getty purchased the body of the statue. Believed to be lost, the head was on the art market for many years until it was discovered with a dealer in New York; it was sold to the Getty in 2016. After undergoing conservation, the head has been re-joined with the body.

by 1758 -

Barberini Family (Palazzo Barberini, Rome, Italy)

by 1881 -

Prince Maffeo Barberini-Colonna di Sciarra, Italian, 1850 - 1925 (Palazzo Sciarra Colonna di Carbognano, Rome, Italy)

before 1908 -

Private Dealer (Rome, Italy)

before 1937 -
by 1971 - 1972

Henri Kamer New York Ltd., sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1972.

Provenance Remarks: In 2018, a drawing of the statue in a restored state by the Danish artist Johannes Wiedewelt (1731-1802) was recognized in the Det Kongelige Bibliotek in Copenhagen. (Our thanks to Jörg Deterling for locating this drawing.) The drawing was part of Wiedewelt’s drawing book CCCXXXVII Tegninger af differente Antike og Moderne Monumenter i Rom (1758), which dates to the end of his four years in Italy. The statue most likely remained as part of the Barberini collection until the early 1800’s, when it may have been part of the large group of ancient sculptures transferred to Prince Maffeo Sciarra (1771-1849) in 1818 following court cases in 1810 and 1811 involving a fidecommissary from 1807, although it cannot be securely identified as any particular statue within this group at this time.


Matz, Friedrich, and F. von Duhn. Antike Bildwerke in Rom. 3 vols. (Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1881-82), Vol. I, p. 410, no. 1421.

Arndt, Paul, and Walther Amelung. Photographische Einzelaufnahmen antiker Sculpturen (Munich: Verlagsanstalt für Kunst und Wissenschaft, 1893-1940), no. 5022.

Amelung, Walther. Die Sculpturen des Vaticanischen Museums, im Auftrage und unter Mitwirkung des Kaiserlich Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts (Römische Abteilung) vol. 2. (Berlin: G. Reimer, 1908), p. 444.

Kruse, Hans-Joachim. "Römische weibliche Gewandstatuen des zweiten Jahrhunderts n. Chr." Ph.D. diss. (Georg-August Universität zu Göttingen, 1975), p. 457n309.

Fredericksen, Burton B., Jiří Frel, and Gillian Wilson. Guidebook: The J. Paul Getty Museum. 4th ed. Sandra Morgan, ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978), p. 59.

Frel, Jirí. In collaboration with Sandra Knudsen Morgan. Roman Portraits in the Getty Museum. Exh. cat. for "Caesars and Citizens," Philbrook Art Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma, April 26-July 12, 1981, pp. 98-99, 131, no. 81, ill.

Index der antiken Kunst und Architektur: Denkmäler des griechisch-römischen Altertums in der Photosammlung des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts Rom...Begleitband: Register und Kommentar. (New York : K.G. Saur, 1988), fiche 504, E4-6.

Margolis, Stanley, and William Showers. "Ancient Greek and Roman Marble Sculpture: Authentication, Weathering, and Provenance Determination," Marble. Art Historical and Scientific Perspectives on Ancient Sculpture. Papers Delivered at a Symposium at the J. Paul Getty Museum, April 28-30, 1988, pp. 283-299. Malibu: 1990, p. 287, Table 1, no. 13.

Stephan, Annelisa. “Surprises as an Ancient Statue Is Prepped to Receive Its Missing Head.” The Iris (December 15, 2016), (accessed August 26, 2019).

Kilston, Lyra. “A Curator’s Keen Eye Reunites Statue’s Head with Body.” The Iris (July 27, 2016), (accessed August 26, 2019).