Augustus of Prima Porta

Type: Sculptures
Date: ca. 20 BCE
Location or Findspot (Modern-Day Country): Italy
Medium: Marble
Dimensions: 2.03 m in height
Description: The full-length marble portrait of August, the first Roman emperor, was from the villa of Livia, his wife, at Prima Porta (near Rome). The standing figure has an idealized, ageless face, and an athletic body. He wears a cuirass carved with images of victory; personifications (e.g., subjected peoples); Caelus, the sky god, spreading the tent of the sky; the moon goddess Luna and the sun god Sol; and Augustus's patron gods, Apollo and Diana. In choosing this portrait type, Augustus was returning to older Greek styles as a means of indicating a return to traditional piety. Traces of painting and gilding reveal that this was once a vividly colorful statue.
Relevant Textbook Chapter(s): 1
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

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Vatican Museums, Augustus of Prima Porta, detail