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.