The J. Paul Getty Museum

Bust of a Flavian Woman

Object Details


Bust of a Flavian Woman






Roman Empire (Place Created)


late 1st century A.D.


Italian marble

Object Number:



68 × 41 × 22 cm (26 3/4 × 16 1/8 × 8 11/16 in.)

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Object Description

The woman wears a towering hairpiece, with seven rows of tight curls in front, and long braids that wind around the back of her head. This arrangement shows off her long slender neck, and was fashionable during the Flavian period (A.D. 69-96). The woman is draped over her upper torso, and her face is softly modelled. The bust rests upon a rounded base. At one time the head was broken from the neck; it has been reattached and filled. The surface is slightly worn, and some of the projecting folds of drapery are chipped.

- 1973

Robin Symes, Limited, founded 1977, dissolved 2005, by partial credit and partial purchase, sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1973.

Caesars and Citizens: Roman Portrait Sculpture from the J. Paul Getty Museum (April 26, 1981 to February 28, 1982)
  • Philbrook Museum of Art (Tulsa), April 26 to July 12, 1981
  • Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery (Austin), September 17 to December 6, 1981
  • Phoenix Art Museum (Phoenix), January 6 to February 28, 1982
Classic and Contemporary (October 16, 1990 to January 6, 1991)
  • Centro Cultural / Arte Contemporaneo (Polanco), October 16, 1990 to January 6, 1991
Getty Museum loan to The Art Institute of Chicago (October 15, 2012 to October 1, 2024)
  • The Art Institute of Chicago, October 15, 2012 to October 1, 2024

Frel, Jirí, and Elizabeth Buckley. Greek and Roman Portraits in the J. Paul Getty Museum. exh. cat. California State University at Northridge, October 16-November 11, 1973 (1973), no. 24.

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. 56-57, 125, no. 39, ill.

Chamay, Jacques, Jiřì Frel, and Jean-Louis Maier. Le monde des Césars: Portraits romains (Geneva: Musée d'art et d'histoire de Genève 1982), p. 121; pls. 22, 22a-b.

Goette, Hans R. "Das Bildnis des Marcus Vilonius Varro in Kopenhagen: Zu den Basen von Portraitbüsten und zum Realismus flavisch-traianischer Bildnisse." Boreas 7 (1984), p. 94, no. B.g.

Fiero, Gloria K. The Humanistic Tradition. Origins of the Humanistic Tradition: The First Civilizations and the Classical Legacy. (Dubuque: 1992), fig. 7.21.

Borg, Barbara. Mumienporträts: Chronologie und kultureller Kontext (Mainz: Ph. von Zabern, 1996), pp. 34 (n. 97), 36. cited as Getty inv. no. 22.