ROMAN MARBLE PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG MAN
Antonine period, second half of 2nd century AD
height cm 30
Sculpted in Greek marble with great skill, this portrait of a young man is extremely rare for typology. He has unusual facial features: high cheekbones, thin nose, almond eyes and wild curly hair. We have no idea who this impressive young man could be: an elegant aristocrat coming from Persia or Syria; a rich North African landowner; or even a Punic or a Celt. However, this amazingly naturalistic portrait fully reflexes the ethnic diversity of the Roman Empire: its capital city had a population of about 1.200.000 - 1.700.000 people during the Antonine dynasty.
Pino Donati, Monteggio, Switzerland, early 1970s.