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Portrait head of a young woman - Julia (empress)
provenance: Milreu. Faro
chronology: Roman Period. A.D. 1st - 2nd Century
typology: Marble female head
dimension: height 29 cm (11 ⅜ in.) width 19.1 cm (7 ½ in.) thickness 22.7 cm (8 ⅞ in.)
category: Sculpture
inventory number: 994.6.3


Well shaped portrait head of a young woman, with expressive features and great naturalness. It shows a fragmented nose and small flaws on the chin and on the neck. It is a good portrait, realistic, with clean-cut features, technically well executed, with a thick-lipped, slightly contorted mouth and snub nose, showing coldness and decision. It exhibits a typical hairstyle in "wasp nest", her short forehead almost disappears under the diadem formed by a triple chain of overlapped hair locks that the Roman ladies had fixed on a wire or metal network and at the back of the head a hair lock rolls up in a wide bun above the neck, uncovering the ears. The fashion of this hairstyle was created by Julia, Titus’ daughter and Domitian’s wife during the Flavian period, perhaps this was a portrait of the empress herself. This sculpture might have been part of a bust or even of a statue that have disappeared. (According to record of the MNA‘s Catalogue of Roman Sculpture, by José Luís de Matos).
Proceeding from the Roman villa of Milreu, this portrait reflects at its best the wealth, importance and full socio-political insertion of the Southern Lusitanian municipal elites at the late 1 st century – early 2 nd century A.D., adopting stereotyped attitudes and fashions of clear prestige holding connotations of the imperial house. (According to record of the Exhibition Catalogue "Religions of Lusitania", by José Cardim Ribeiro).


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Vessel with cardial decoration Portrait head of a young woman - Julia (empress) Krater Torc Galician-Lusitanian warrior

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