Roman Marble Portrait Head of Caracalla

SKU: HQ.0030

Origin: Mediterranean
Circa: 3rd Century AD
Dimensions: 12.25" h x 7.25" w (31cm x 18.5cm) excluding socle, 17.5" h (45cm) including socle
Medium: Marble

Depicted life-size, the ruler's hair depicted in thick and wavy locks, with an intense gaze, peering to the left, his deep lidded eyes, the irises and pupils softly articulated, and shown with a heavy arching brows and furrowed forehead. His nose, now missing, above a closed down-turned mouth, strong bearded chin and jaw.

Acquired from the Taylor Collection, Texas. Previously with a Private Estate, Texas.

Worn throughout consistent with age, with varying degrees of toning and pitting to the surface, and notable areas of loss as evident in the photos like the nose and parts of the ears. Overall in good condition.

Lucius Septimius Bassianus, later known as Caracalla, was born on the 4 April, 188 A.D to Lucius Septimius Severus and Julia Domna. As part of his father's attempt to establish his family as a dynasty in the fashion of the Antonines, he was renamed Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, linking his two predecessors and the last to reign during the Pax Romana, a period of stability, wealth, and peace from 27 B.C. to 180 A.D., Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. Later, in 198 A.D. he was made co-ruler reigning with his father until 209 A.D. when his brother Publius Septimius Geta, known as Geta, would also come to reign alongside their father until Septimius Severus' death in 211 A.D. Within the year Caracalla had his Praetorian Guard murder his brother to take full control and reign as Rome's sole emperor.

It was around this time that Caracalla started to produce the "One Ruler" type portrait to help legitimize his claim throughout the empire. This type is best characterized by the "Caracalla Farnese" in the Naples National Archaeological Museum.

For one of the most well known examples of the "One Ruler" type-portrait see the "Caracalla Farnese," Naples National Archaeological Museum, Inventory # 6603, Naples, Italy.



Roman Marble Portrait Head of Caracalla


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