Ancient Roman Portrait Bust of Empress Faustina Major From the Second Century Ad
A large, ethereal marble portrait bust of an aristocratic woman identified as the celebrated beauty Empress Faustina Major (100AD-140AD), Wife of Emperor Antoninus Pius. The niece of Emperor Hadrian, and mother-in-law and adopted mother to Emperor Marcus Aurelius, Faustina was the daughter of a very prominent patrician Roman family and was widely known for her beauty and wisdom as well as her philanthropic missions. She was devoted to the education of the poor and sponsored the education particularly of destitute girls. Following her untimely death at the age of 40, her husband, Emperor Antoninus Pius, had her deified and the Temple of Faustina was consecrated in her honor in the Roman Forum. The cult of Faustina swept through the Empire, and frequently newlyweds would worship at the altar of Antoninus and Faustina that they might emulate the couple’s devotion. Faustina’s continued celebration as a model wife and paragon of feminine beauty and virtue extended for centuries well into the Italian Renaissance. Roman, circa 140 AD. This bust sits on a fine base of Verde Guatemala marble. Provenance: A noble estate in Antibes in the South of France.
- Depth: 9 Width: 9 Height: 18
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