Portrait of Tiberius
Ca. 4—14 CE.
Height 48.26 cm.
Inv. No. 1812,0615.2.London, British Museum

Portrait of Tiberius.

Ca. 4—14 CE.
Height 48.26 cm.
Inv. No. 1812,0615.2.

London, British Museum.

From Italy. From the William Lloyd collection. Purchased from Edmund Burke, 1812.

A flattering portrait of the 46 year old heir to the imperial throne

The head, set into a modern bust, shows the image of the future emperor Tiberius (reigned AD 14—37). It was commissioned in AD 4 to mark his adoption as the successor of the emperor Augustus, his step-father. At the time Tiberius would have been forty-six years old, but is shown in the portrait as much younger.

The intrigues of Livia, Tiberius’ mother, were probably a major factor in his rise to power, combined with the terrible health and unfortunate accidents which befell all the other potential heirs of Augustus. Tiberius was a successful general in campaigns against Persia and along the Danube and Rhine, but lacked Augustus’ natural rapport with the Senate, making his period as emperor politically turbulent. His reliance upon the ambitious and brutal Sejanus, the head of the Praetorian guard (the imperial bodyguards) caused particular concern, as did the emperor’s supposed sexual excesses at the Villa Iovis on the island of Capri.

S. Walker, Roman art (London, 1991), p. 26, fig. 26.
S. Walker, Greek and Roman portraits (London, The British Museum Press, 1995), p. 70, fig. 48.
(cc) 2019. Photo, text: The British Museum (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).
Keywords: γλυπτική sculptura sculpture sculptural scultura skulptur ρωμαϊκό roman romana romano romani römisch römische römisches römischen römischer romain romaine romains romaines αυτοκρατορικό imperial imperiale kaiserliches impérial ρωμαίος αυτοκράτορας τιβέριος imperator tiberius emperor i imperatore tiberio kaiser empereur tibère ιουλιο-κλαυδιανή δυναστεία iulio-claudia iulii-claudii julii-claudii the julio-claudian dynasty dinastia giulio-claudia julisch-claudische dynastie famille julio-claudienne julio-claudiens απεικόνιση portrait portraiture ritratto ritrattistica porträtmalerei porträt κεφάλι κεφαλή head testa kopf tête προτομή bust busto büste buste of a man male maschile uomo männliches mann masculin un homme porträtbüste portraitkopf marble marmo marmor marbre μάρμαρο from william lloyd collection collezione sammlung inv no 1812,0615.2 gr 1812.6-15.2~