Augustus of Prima Porta
Date: ca. 20 BCE
Location or Findspot (Modern-Day Country): Italy
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
Repository and Online Resources: • Read more about the Augustus from Prima Porta on the website of the Vatican Museums.
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons
Tags: Status and identity, Connections to the past, Personifications, Roman, Polytheist, Western European, Mediterranean