Drusilla, the sister of Caligula?

Marble. Ca. 50 CE.
Inv. No. 9952.

Rome, Vatican Museums, Gregorian Profane Museum
(Musei Vaticani, Museo gregoriano profano)

Origin:
Found in Caere in 1840.
Description:
The head of Drusilla exhibits Julio-Claudian portrait features, and her hair shows the typical coiffure of the women belonging to that dynasty. Although one curl on each side was recut at some time in antiquity, and although most of these curls have now broken away, the stumps of original marble are visible, emerging from below the waves of the coiffure just behind the ears and dangling onto the shoulders. The portrait shows fleshy, almost pudgy cheeks and soft, full-lipped mouth. She has an overbite, and the point of the chin is large and rounded. In frontal view, the facial expression appears relaxed, and the lips are slightly pursed.

Some scholars, pointing out traces of reworking on the shoulders and neck, suggest that the Caere statue, originally representing Messalina, wife of the emperor Claudius, was recut into a likeness of Drusilla after her execution in the 48 AD.

Credits:
2014. Photo, text: Egisto Sani.

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THE GALLERY OF ANCIENT ART
Keywords: marble marmor marmo testa ritratto femminile woman Iulia Julia Drusilla g182 roman empress Iulia Julia Agrippina Minor Younger Julio-Claudian dynasty dinastia giulio-claudia Julii-Claudii female hairstyle diadem crown infula from Veii Inv No 9952
HISTORY OF ANCIENT ROME