Head of the emperor August
25—1 BCE.
39 × 21 × 24 cm.
Los Angeles (USA), John Paul Getty MuseumInv. No. 78.AA.261.

Head of the emperor August.

25—1 BCE.
39 × 21 × 24 cm.
Inv. No. 78.AA.261.

Los Angeles (USA), John Paul Getty Museum

by 1938 — still in 1940 — Private Collection (Norway);
by 1941—1974 — Charles Nilsson (Stockholm, Sweden) [sold, European, Classical, Byzantine, Western Asiatic and Egyptian Antiquities and Ancient Jewellery, Christie’s, London, July 10-11, 1974, lot 203 to Naylor Leyland];
1974 — Naylor-Leyland Family, British (Nantclwyd Hall, Llanelidan, Denbighshire, Wales);
— 1978 — Antiken Heinz Herzer (Munich, Germany), sold jointly to the Antikenmuseum und Sammlung Ludwig and the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978;
— 1991 — Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig (Basel, Switzerland) and J. Paul Getty Museum, full ownership transferred to the J. Paul Getty Museum by exchange, 1991.
After many years of civil war, Augustus took complete power in Rome in 27 B.C. He claimed that he was re-establishing the Roman Republic, but he actually founded the Roman Empire. Visual signs emphasizing its power and legitimacy bolstered this new political order.

Portraits of Augustus served as symbols of his political agenda rather than corresponding to his physical features as described in written sources. Augustus is always shown in an ideal, classicizing style, and he never ages over the length of his reign. One constant feature of Augustus’s portraits is his hairstyle, with its distinctive forked locks of hair on his forehead.

2011. Photo, text: The J. Paul Getty Museum.
2011. Photographer: Rebecca Truszkowski.
Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.
Keywords: portrait portraiture ritratto ritrattistica porträtmalerei porträt απεικόνιση of a man male maschile uomo männliches mann masculin un homme portraitkopf roman romana römisches romain imperial imperiale kaiserliches impérial αυτοκρατορικό imperator octavianus augustus roman emperor octavian august imperatore romano ottaviano augusto römischer kaiser empereur romain octave octavien auguste ρωμαίος αυτοκράτορας οκταβιανός αύγουστος iulio-claudia iulii-claudii julii-claudii the julio-claudian dynasty dinastia giulio-claudia julisch-claudische dynastie famille julio-claudienne julio-claudiens ιουλιο-κλαυδιανή δυναστεία sculptura sculpture sculptural scultura skulptur γλυπτική roman romana romano romani römisch römische römisches römischen römischer romain romaine romains romaines ρωμαϊκό head testa kopf tête κεφάλι κεφαλή marble marmo marmor marbre μάρμαρο pietrabbondante inv no 78 aa 261
History of Ancient Rome