• Portrait of Empress Livia

    Technique:
    cire perdue technique (lost-wax cast)
    Dimensions:
    height: 3,5 cm

Portrait of Empress Livia

Created: Eastern Mediterranean. вefore 42

Found: Nymphaeum Settlement. Crimea, the environs of Kerch

This little female head is slightly bowed and turned to the right. The woman’s hair is parted in the middle and gathered beneath a fillet (tainia) with large strands framing the face. At the back the hairstyle ends in a knot that descends onto the neck. That coiffure, the low forehead, widely spaced eyes, tightly pressed narrow lips and small sharp chin are distinguishing features of portraits of Livia, the wife of Roman Emperor Augustus. The fillet in the hair indicates that Livia is presented here in the guise of a goddess. The posthumous deification of Augustus’s spouse took place in AD 42 and so we can assume that this sculptural portrait found at Nymphaeum in the Crimea was not made before that date. It is one of only a few examples of sculpture in glass from the Roman era. The making of portraits of Roman emperors and members of their family was a result of the imperial cult that spread from Rome to the far fringes of the Ancient World.

Title:

Portrait of Empress Livia

Date:

Place of finding:

Archaeological site:

Nymphaeum Settlement

Technique:

cire perdue technique (lost-wax cast)

Dimensions:

height: 3,5 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1986; handed over by the Nymphaeum Archaeological Expedition of the State Hermitage, 1983

Inventory Number:

НФ.83-235

Collection: