Livia (or Drusilla?).

Inv. No. MCR 291. Plaster cast.
Original: Pentelic marble, reign of Caligula (37—41 CE).
Height 224.5 cm, height of the head 36.7 cm.

Rome, Museum of Roman Civilization
(Museo della civiltà romana)

Original is found on 17 June 1861 in the basilica of Velleia (Lugagnano Val d’Arda), Italy, now in the National Museum of Antiquities, Parma, Italy. Inv. No. 1952. 828.

Deutsch 882. Römische weibliche Gewandstatue.

S.366 Ueber Lebensgrösze. — It. M. — Erg. r. Hand mit den Gewandteilen und dem Ringe am ersten Glide des zweiten Fingers. Kopf mit Hals besonders gearbeitet. Der besonders gearbeitete r. Vorderarm nicht vorhanden: hie und da bestoszen, z. B. am Rande des Diadems. — Herkunft wie bei 868. — Abgeb. Antolini, a. O., IX, 3.

R. Standbein: das l. Bein ist zur Seite gesetzt. Bekleidet ist die Figur mit Zeugschuhen, einem langen, feinen, an den Oberarmen zugeknöpften Chiton und einem auf dem Kopfe aufliegenden Obergewande, das, unter dem r. Arme vorgenommen, mit einem breiten Umschlag über die l. Schulter zurückgeworfen ist. Rückseite nur angelegt. Das Gesicht (Mund geschlossen) scheint etwas überarbeitet zu sein. Das wellige, scharf ausgearbeitete Har ist über einen kleinen in die Stirn gekämmten und dort quer abgeschnittenen Teil desselben1 zur Seite gefürt und von einem Diadem bekrönt. Die Arbeit ist weniger glänzend als bei 881. Wol keine Agrippina, wie die Figur genannt wird. Livia?

1Vgl. zu 852, 2.

H. Dütschke

p.125 At least two, and probably three, extant portraits of Livia come from statuary groups securely datable to the principate of Caligula157. Of these, the group from the basilica of Velleia demonstrates with greatest clarity her significance in the propaganda of the third Julio-Claudian emperor158. (Figures 45—46). Although Livia had not yet formally been consecrated, her statue at Velleia was larger in scale than that of any other imperial woman in the group, and wore a crescent diadem, an attribute hitherto reserved for goddesses159. The body does not copy any known Classical prototype, although she does wear the Greek costume of chiton and himation, rather than the Roman stola: the honor of explicit identification with a goddess appears here to have been reserved only for Drusilla160. The appearance of Livia’s statue, however, could discreety hint at goddess-like status. Her coiffure is of the more classicizing “adoption type”, rather than the nodus. The waves of hair are still drawn down smoothly around her face, rather than swept back from the hairline, and the cascading shoulder locks are absent, but here as in the colossal Leptis Magna statue (figure 43), deep drill channels separate the strands. As Rose has rightly observed, the statue from Velleia strongly assimilates Livia’s appearance to that of Caligula and his siblings, making her face somewhat longer than usual and giving her eyebrows a slight flare toward the temples. The sculptors here may have preferred p.126 the “adoption type” hairstyle not only for its goddess-like qualities but because of its resemblance to the coiffures favored by Agrippina II and Drusilla, with their middle parts and stiffly crimped waves around the face161. The sculptor of this statue has added one distinctively idiosyncratic touch: the soft fringe of locks that escape from the hairline to hang softly down on the forehead162. This detail usually appears only on works of Eastern manufacture on portraits that wear the nodus coiffure. How the copyist at Velleia came to know of this ornamental device must remain the subject of speculation, since we know nothing of his ethnic origin, but the locks here have two effects. As in eastern sculptures, they make the coiffure a little softer and more decorative. And they provide an element similar to, although not identical with, the little spit-curls along the hairline that appeared in the portraits of Drusilla, thus further strengthening the assimilation of the appearances of these two women. Although the statue of Drusilla at Velleia has lost its head, the portrait type must have been the same one that survives in a statue from Caere and in at least five other replicas, in which this fringe of curls is a consistent feature (figures 111—117)163.

157Rose, 1997, 60; 121—123, cat. no. 50, the group from Velleia, and 152—153, cat. 85, the group from Gortyn. Since both of these groups included portraits of Caligula, who would surely not have been represented after his death, the dates are secure. Rose also dates to the principate of Caligula a group from Paestum (Rose, 1997, 98, no. 26), but since this group includes only Tiberius and Livia, the dating is somewhat less secure. The god-like format of Tiberius’s statue does seem to imply a date after his death, probably during the principate of his immediate successor.

158On the Velleia group: Saletti, 1968, passim. Goethert, 1972, 235—247, Jucker, 1977, 204—240. Rose, 1997, 121—126, cat. no. 5. Statue of Livia: Parma, Museo Civico inv. 1870 no. 146, 1952 no. 828, marble, h. 224.5 cm., of head 36.7 cm. Saletti, 1968, 33—37, no. 4, 106—110, pls. 11—12; Winkes, 1995, 152—153 no. 76.

159Saletti, 1968, 33—37, cat. no. 4, and 106—110, identifies this statue as Diva Drusilla, but concedes its resemblance in facial features and “Salus coiffure” to the images of Livia. In my opinion, the arguments of Goethert, 1972, 236—238, in favor of the identification as Livia are far more convincing; my autopsy of the statue confirms mv opinion that it can only be Livia.

160Rose, 1997, 125.

161Rose, 1997, 123.

162Saletti, 1968, 109, cites this detail in arguing against the identification og the Velleia statue as Livia. Parallels however can be found in many portraits of Livia from Greece and Asia Minor: Inan and Rosenbaum 1966, 60—61, no. 11, pl. 7, 3—4; Inan and Rosenbaum, 1979, 61—62, nos. 5—6, pls. 4. 2, 5.

163On the iconography of Drusilla, see Wood, 1995, 457—482. To the five replicas of the type that I identify in that article, Rose has added another, from Luna in Etruria: Rose, 1997, 94, no. 20, pl. 85, with earlier literature; Saletti, 1973, 37—46, fig. 2.

S. E. Wood
Dütschke H. Antike Bildwerke in Oberitalien V. Antike Bildwerke in Vicenza, Venedig, Catajo, Modena, Parma und Mailand. Leipizig, 1882. ¹ 882.
Poulsen F. Porträtstudien in norditalienischen Provinzmuseen. Kopenhagen, 1928. S. 52 f. ¹ 6. Ill. 75—77.
Hafner G. Zum Augustus-Relief in Ravenna // MDAIR. Bd. 62. 1955. S. 168 ff. Ill. 23, 1. 24.
Furnéevan Zwet L. Fashion in Women’s Hair-dress in the First Century of the Roman Empire // BABesch. Bd. 31. 1956. P. 17 Ill. 20;
Mansuelli G. A. Il ritratto romano nell’Italia settentrionale: formazione e correnti artistiche // MDAIR. Bd. 65. 1958. S. 81 Anm. 61.
Gross W. H. Iulia Augusta. Untersuchungen zur Grundlegung einer Livia-Ikonographie. Göttingen, 1962. S. 113 f.
Bartels H. Studien zum Frauenporträt der augusteischen Zeit. Fulvia, Octavia, Livia, Julia. München, 1963. S. 57, Anm. 459.
Gross W. H. Augustus und Livia // Acta Archaeologica. Vol. 35. 1964. S. 54 Anm. 12.
Saletti C. Il ciclo statuario della basilica di Velleia. Milano, 1968. P. 33 ¹ 4. Ill. 11—14.
Goethert K.-P. Zur Einheitlichkeit der Statuengruppe aus der Basilika von Velleia // MDAIR. Bd. 79. 1972. S. 235—247
Jucker H. Die Prinzen des Statuenzyklus aus Veleia. Umfang und Datierung der Stiftung des L. Calpurnius Piso // JdI. Bd. 92. 1977. S. 213.
Fittschen K., Zanker P. Katalog der römischen Porträts in den Capitolinischen Museen und den anderen kommunalen Sammlungen der Stadt Rom 3. Kaiserinnen- und Prinzessinnenbildnisse. Frauenporträts. Mainz, 1983. Anm. 6, ¹ 3.
Winkes R. Livia, Octavia, Julia. Porträts und Darstellungen. Louvain-la-Neuve, 1995. S. 153 ¹ 76.
Wood S. E. Imperial Women: A Study in Public Images, 40 BC — AD 68. Leiden; Boston; Köln, 2000. P. 125—126.
Boschung D. Gens Augusta: Untersuchungen zu Aufstellung, Wirkung und Bedeutung der Statuengruppen des julisch-claudischen Kaiserhauses. Mainz, 2002. S. 25, ¹ 2. 6á Ill. 16, 1. 18, 1. 3.
(ññ) 2009. Photo: Olga Lyubimova (CC BY-SA 4.0).
© 2018. Text: iDAI.Images / Arachne.
Description: Dütschke H. Antike Bildwerke in Oberitalien V. Antike Bildwerke in Vicenza, Venedig, Catajo, Modena, Parma und Mailand. Leipizig, 1882. ¹ 882.
© 2000. Description: Wood S. E. Imperial Women: A Study in Public Images, 40 BC — AD 68. Leiden; Boston; Köln, 2000. P. 125—126.
Keywords: plaster cast female portrait statue standing woman the roman empress Livia Drusilla Iulia Julia Augusta g132 Julia Drusilla g182 Julio-Claudian dynasty Julii-Claudii female hairstyle female clothes chiton hymation veil veiled capite velato from Velleia Parma Inv No MCR 291 Inv No 1952 828