4.7 × 3.1 cm.
Inv. No. 25876.Naples, National Archaeological MuseumPhoto by Luciano Pedicini


4.7 × 3.1 cm.
Inv. No. 25876.

Naples, National Archaeological Museum
(Napoli, Museo archeologico nazionale).

Private collection, Farnese.
From Herculaneum. From the Farnese collection.
This is a magnificent portrait of the young Augustus, represented with great finesse according to the canons of early Imperial portraiture, combining a celebrative intention with realism. The latter trend is evident in the curve of the forehead and the lines of the chin and mouth.
The rendering of the locks of hair in the style of Polycletus and the general abstract appearance of the profile connote the figure as that of a hero, soon to become a god, as the Doryphorus that official sculpture looked to for inspiration.
The use of a portrait of the princeps for such a personal object (gems are first and foremost a symbol of their owner) evidently is intended as a display of loyalism, typical of the new regime issued from the civil wars.
© 1996. Photo, text: Stefano De Caro, “The National Archaeological Museum of Naples”.
Soprintendenza Archeologica di Napoli e Caserta. Electa, Napoli, 2001, p. 283.
© 1996. Photo: Luciano Pedicini.
Keywords: gemma glyptics gem gems glittica gliptica gemme glyptik glyptique αυτοκρατορικό imperial imperiale kaiserliches impérial ρωμαίος αυτοκράτορας οκταβιανός αύγουστος imperator octavianus augustus roman emperor octavian august imperatore romano ottaviano augusto römischer kaiser empereur romain octave octavien auguste ιουλιο-κλαυδιανή δυναστεία iulio-claudia iulii-claudii julii-claudii the julio-claudian dynasty dinastia giulio-claudia julisch-claudische dynastie famille julio-claudienne julio-claudiens romana romani römische romaine καμέα κάμερες cameo cameos cammeo cammei kamee camée kameo απεικόνιση portrait portraiture ritratto ritrattistica porträtmalerei porträt römisches of a man male maschile uomo männliches mann masculin un homme carved anaglifico intagliato handgeschnitzt sardonyx sardonica-onyx from herculaneum farnese collection inv no 25876