A Large 20thC Bronze Portrait Bust of a Roman Republican

Origin: Unknown
Period: Mid 20thC
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1950-70
Height: 18.5”
Width: 9”
Depth: 10”
The Base: 9.5” deep x 9.25” wide

The large and imposing dark patinated bronze portrait bust of a Roman Republican, modeled as a middle aged and fleshy Roman man, with thick tousled hair, the whole on a steel rod and stepped black marble base, surviving from the twentieth century.

In good overall condition the bust has not had any restoration or cleaning taken to it with the darkness to the bronze creating the impression of Berlin iron. There is a nice green verdigris patination to the underside and no dents or marks that are not commensurate with age. The base has a few small chips.

This bust has similarities to that of a Roman example of Juba I from the Augustan period, probably ca. 25 B.C. excavated at Volubilis, Morocco, in 1944. Our subject is older and more fleshy but the overall appearance, with the eye sockets being vacant and the thick tousled hair are similar. It also has a resemblance to the bust of Marcus Agrippa who played a leading role in the civil wars of the 30s B.C. and later acted as the emperor’s ambassador, dealing with troubles in various parts of the Empire.

This oversized work has the feel of a museum piece in its stature and the quality of the features are good. The bust displays ultra realism, as favoured during the earlier Republican period rather than the earlier more idealised classical period.

Talk about imposing.