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HOME : Classical Antiquities : Marble Sculptures : Roman Marble Bust of a Matron
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Roman Marble Bust of a Matron - DC.330
Origin: Tunisia
Circa: 100 AD to 300 AD
Dimensions: 11" (27.9cm) high x 9.5" (24.1cm) wide x 7" (17.8cm) depth
Collection: Classical Antiquities
Medium: Marble
Condition: Extra Fine

Location: United States
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The kindly matron depicted in this bust is a provincial aristocrat, one of the ruling and rich class of Roman-dominated Africa in roughly the 1st to 3rd century AD. What is striking about this piece is the warmth that the face exudes. She is not, by any means, an attractive woman- her cheek-bones are firm and prominent, her chin is chiseled and masculine, and her nose is wide and flat. Something though, in her quiet smile, her modest frown, and her wide face is in the most essential way nurturing, almost mothering. We see in her a woman of regal bearing, of the best breeding, and the most elegant stature. Her head sits straight and proud upon her neck; her hair falls in neat tresses behind her head and over her ears. Art so often pursues the virile man and the gorgeous woman; it so often gets caught up in canons and mechanics, that it loses sight of portraying what is human. Captured in the rose-colored stone is the essence of a real woman. It would not be any stretch of imagination to see her animated to life, speaking in a moderated voice- offering words of condolence or wisdom. Pieces as unique as this one are the ones which truly offer us a glimpse into the lives of the past. In this bust, we see not only a female Roman aristocrat, but a very real and specific human being. Her grace and presence light up a room, and her smile is a reassurance, still resonating two thousand years after her death. - (DC.330)


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