H. 27.4 cm. Turin, Museum of Antiquities
H. 27.4 cm.
Turin, Museum of Antiquities
An arresting marble head of an unknown citizen of the Roman republic (5.60) would seem indeed to have been made direct from an ancestor mask in wax, for there was originally no back to the head. The uncompromising realism of this stern portrait of a quite homely man in late middle age is in keeping with the high standards of honesty and unpretentious simplicity maintained in all walks of life during the republic, as we have seen (5.55). His cheeks arc slashed by deep folds of leathery skin, his thin lips are set in a slightly scornful expression of cautious doubt, his high, protruding cheekbones and deeply sunken temples frame half-closed eyes below a gently creased forehead and balding head of close-cropped hair.