• Bust of the Emperor Lucius Verus

    height: 76,0 cm

Bust of the Emperor Lucius Verus

Ancient Rome, 161-169

Lucius Verus was co-ruler with Marcus Aurelius from 161 until his early death in 169 at the age of 38. This portrait of him is intended to be an embodiment of the military might of Rome. Lucius Verus is shown in the character of a general after the Parthian Triumph, a great victory over the barbarians in the East in 165 AD. He is wearing armour that is embellished with relief imagery – a mask of the Gorgon Medusa on the breastplate. The energetic turn of the head and the squared shoulders invest him with a look of power and assurance. The portrait stands out for its masterly execution: the polished marble of the finely modelled face contrasts with the curls of the beard and the tight locks of the hair. The Emperor’s biographers reported that Lucius Verus used to sprinkle his hair with gold dust so as to resemble some Ancient Greek hero from the Iliad – Achilles or Hector, as they were imagined in his time. In this instance, the thorough working of the details is one of the most important elements in the creation of a grand image of the Emperor.


Bust of the Emperor Lucius Verus





height: 76,0 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1924; formerly in Pavlovsk, near St Petersburg

Inventory Number:





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