Bust of Antinous, found at Hadrian’s Villa in 1790, Vatican Museums

Bust of Antinous, found at Hadrian's Villa in 1970, Vatican Museums

White, coarse-grained marble

Height: 100 cm (plus socle)

Vatican Museums, Vatican City (Sala Rontonda) Inv. 251

Provenance: Found at Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli, 1790. Briefly exhibited in Paris from 1801 until the end of Napoleon’s regime.

The face of the emperor Hadrian’s young “favourite” is framed by thick hair with thick, curly ringlets falling over the forehead and below the neck. Although the broad, hollow chest is fairly typical of Antinous representations, the wide face and hair are not. This unusual hairstyle has been connected with Antinous’ servile beginners as an imperial slave of the emperor Trajan’s “familia”. (source: Vatican Museum, descriptive panel).

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