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Marble head - Roman Empire 1st century BC
Marble head - Roman Empire 1st century BC - Ancient Art Style Marble head - Roman Empire 1st century BC - Marble head - Roman Empire 1st century BC - Antiquités - Marble head - Roman Empire 1st century BC
Ref : 99269
40 000 €   -   SALE PENDING
Period :
BC to 10th century
Provenance :
Roman Empire
Medium :
Dimensions :
H. 17.72 inch
Ancient Art  - Marble head - Roman Empire 1st century BC BC to 10th century - Marble head - Roman Empire 1st century BC  - Marble head - Roman Empire 1st century BC Antiquités - Marble head - Roman Empire 1st century BC
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Marble head - Roman Empire 1st century BC

The facial features are marked: hollow cheeks, high cheekbones and square jaw. The chin is broad and prominent, the mouth is closed and the lips are full and curved, creating a slight shadow. The eyes are almond shaped, small and slightly inverted. The hair is thick at the front and receding at the temples. The hair is thickly spiked with a slight wave.
The mature and virile appearance of this figure, combined with the double chin, is reminiscent of depictions of Marcus Vispanius Agrippa.
Agrippa (?63 B.C. / 12 B.C.) was a Roman general, politician and a close associate of Octavian (later Emperor Augustus): a loyal friend, man of war, builder, son-in-law and heir apparent to the Empire, Agrippa was, during the reign of Augustus, involved in every battle.
Present at Octavian's side from the death of Caesar in 44 BC, Agrippa took part in the establishment of the principate and in the civil wars at the end of the Roman Republic. He was a major figure in the Empire's new conquests, particularly in Hispania and on the Danube. He distinguished himself many times in battle, and commanded the fleet at the battle of Actium in 31 BC against Antony and Cleopatra.
He married Augustus' daughter, Julia, with whom he had five children, two of whom were adopted by the Emperor and made heirs. Through Augustus' multiple matrimonial strategies, Agrippa was thus the maternal grandfather of Emperor Caligula, the maternal great-grandfather of Nero, the father-in-law of Germanicus (heir to the Empire), and the grandfather of Agrippina the younger (wife of Emperor Claudius).
A builder, he built thermal baths on the Field of Mars, which were bequeathed to the Roman people at his death (thus becoming the first public thermal baths in the city), numerous temples, aqueducts, porticoes and theatres, as well as numerous roads in Rome and the provinces, notably in Gaul where he was governor. He was also responsible for the first pantheon in Rome, begun in 27 BC. Very close to Augustus, the latter constantly granted him powers, honours and responsibilities, making Agrippa almost a second emperor.
On the death of Marcellus, Augustus' nephew and principal heir, Agrippa in turn became heir apparent to the Empire. After a final conquest in the Danube region, he died in 12 BC in Campania. To honour his friend, Augustus organised a sumptuous funeral for him, similar to the one he planned for himself, and he mourned for more than a month. He also adopted Agrippa's children and took charge of their education. Although he had prepared his own burial, Agrippa had the honour of having his remains laid to rest in Augustus' mausoleum, along with the members of the imperial family.
Despised by the Roman aristocracy for his modest origins, but adulated by the plebs for his career and his qualities, Agrippa is recognised by ancient and contemporary historians as a great man, an excellent military man, a builder, founder of the Roman Empire and almost the equal of Augustus.
Provenance: private collection, where it remained from 1931 to 2017, before being left to the Red Cross and then sold.

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