Collection Highlights: Cast Gallery
Plaster cast of a bust of an Athenian youth from the Roman period AD 150–180, 48 cm high.
The original bust of marble in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens (inv. 419) was found before 1881 in the Theatre of Dionysus in Athens, and the head has previously been identified as the Black Sea ruler Rhoimetalkes, the Roman emperor Galliennus, and even as Jesus Christ himself. The remarkable bust stands apart from most prevailing portrait styles of its period (the mid-second century AD). In its dramatic posture and wild, princely locks falling onto the shoulders, it looks back to the Hellenistic period. It combines ideas from images of Achilles and Hellenistic kings with the sophisticated portrait technique of the high Roman Empire. [Acquired in 2001 from the workshop of S. Bertolin of the Glytothek in Munich with the support of the Friends of the Ashmolean and the Craven Committee. Cast Gallery inv. H51].