Art

Julia Domna

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Julia Domna, 193-211 CE
Sculpture
, Head
Roman Imperial
,
2nd-3rd century CE
Roman Imperial period, Middle
Creation Place: Syria
Leaded bronze, gilded
36 x 22 x 20 cm (14 3/16 x 8 11/16 x 7 7/8 in.)
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Mr. C. Ruxton Love, Jr.
, 1956.19
Department of Ancient and Byzantine Art & Numismatics
,
Description
Bust of the empress Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus. Gilded bronze. Frontal portrait exhibits characteristic features of Julia Domna's portraiture: thick rows of curls, fleshy face, and long neck. Traces of lead on the lower part of the bust indicate where the draped body was attached. Nose battered. Missing much of the hair at the back. Green patina with white encrustations.
Commentary
Re-View Exhibition, Spring 2008, gallery label information:

The Syrian-born second wife of the Roman emperor Septimius Severus and mother of Caracalla and Geta was herself a powerful figure. This head was originally gilded and set into a full-size statue. Its facial features and hairstyle, once complete with a bun, match named images of Julia Domna on coins, such as no. 43 in the coin case on the other side of this gallery.
Provenance
D. Kelekian collection, New York, NY, (by 1951). C. Ruxton Love, Jr., New York, NY, (by 1954-1956), gift; to Fogg Art Museum, 1956.
Bibliography
Ancient Art in American Private Collections, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1954), no. 178, pl. 54.

George M. A. Hanfmann, "A Bronze Portrait of Julia Domna", Fogg Art Museum Annual Report 1955-1956 (1955-1956), 42-43.

"Accessions of American and Canadian Museums, January-March, 1956", The Art Quarterly (1956), Vol. 19, No. 1, 302-313, p. 302.

Ulrich W. Hiesinger, "Julia Domna: Two Portraits in Bronze", American Journal of Archaeology (1969), Vol. 73, No. 1, 39-44, p. 39-42, pls. 15.1-4, 16.1.

Rendel Schlüter, "Die Bildnisse der Kaiserin Iulia Domna", (1971), Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität zu Münster, (Ph.D. diss.), p. 37-42, 130-31.

Cornelius C. Vermeule, III, Greek and Roman Sculpture in America, University of California Press (Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA, 1981), p. 348, no. 299.

Cornelius C. Vermeule, III, Roman Imperial Art in Greece and Asia Minor, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1981), p. 299, 304, no. 158 (figs.).

David Gordon Mitten and Amy Brauer, Dialogue with Antiquity, The Curatorial Achievement of George M. A. Hanfmann, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1982), p. 16, no. 58, ill. back cover.

Kristin A. Mortimer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums/Abbeville Press (Cambridge, MA; New York, NY, 1985), p. 115, no. 129, ill.

Carol C. Mattusch, The Fire of Hephaistos: Large Classical Bronzes from North American Collections, exh. cat., Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1996), p. 302-305, no. 42, color pl. 9 and 16.

Nancy Ramage and Andrew Ramage, Roman Art Romulus to Constantine, Prentice Hall (Upper Saddle River, NJ, 1996), p. 235, fig. 9.4

Ilona Stupinska-Løvset, Portraiture in Roman Syria: A Study in Social and Regional Differentiation within the Art of Portraiture, Wydawn Uniwersytetu Lodzkiego (Lodz, Poland, 1999), pp. 103-104, ill.

Amy Snodgrass, "Analysis of gilding and other decorative metals from selected bronzes in the exhibition The Fire of Hephaistos", From the Parts to the Whole: Acta of the 13th International Bronze Congress, ed. Carol C. Mattusch, Amy Brauer and Sandra E. Knudsen, Journal of Roman Archaeology (Portsmouth, RI, 2000), Vol. 1, 276-81, fig. 1.

Christine Kondoleon, ed., Antioch: The Lost Ancient City, exh. cat., ed. Christine Kondoleon Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ, 2000), p. 127, no. 17.

Baltimore Museum of Art, "Driving Force", BMA Today (2001), Vol. 92, 4-5, cover photo.

[Reproduction Only], Persephone(Fall 2006), [cover illustration].

Stephan Wolohojian, ed., Harvard Art Museum/Handbook, exh. cat., ed. Stephan Wolohojian (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2008), p. 25.

Carol C. Mattusch, "Artists and Workshops: The Craft and the Product", Ancient Bronzes through a Modern Lens: Introductory Essays on the Study of Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes, ed. Susanne Ebbinghaus, Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2014), 112-31, pp. 112 and 125-27, fig. 5.7.a-b.

Henry Lie and Francesca Bewer, "Ex Aere Factum: Technical Notes on Ancient Bronzes", Ancient Bronzes through a Modern Lens: Introductory Essays on the Study of Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes, ed. Susanne Ebbinghaus, Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2014), 38-63, pp. 47, 50, and 52.

Exhibition History
Dialogue with Antiquity: The Curatorial Achievement of George M.A. Hanfmann, Fogg Art Museum, 05/07/1982 - 06/26/1982
Ancient Art in American Private Collections, Fogg Art Museum, 12/28/1954 - 02/15/1955
The Fire of Hephaistos: Large Classical Bronzes from North American Collections, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, 04/20/1996 - 08/11/1996; Toledo Museum of Art, 10/13/1996 - 01/05/1997; Tampa Museum of Art, 02/02/1997 - 04/13/1997
Roman Gallery Installation (long-term), Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/16/1999 - 01/20/2008
Antioch: The Lost Ancient City, Worcester Art Museum, 10/07/2000 - 02/04/2001; Cleveland Museum of Art, 03/18/2001 - 06/03/2001; Baltimore Museum of Art, 09/16/2001 - 12/30/2001
Gods in Color: Painted Sculpture of Classical Antiquity, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/22/2007 - 01/20/2008
Re-View: S422 Ancient & Byzantine Art & Numismatics, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 04/12/2008 - 06/18/2011
Ancient to Modern, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/31/2012 - 06/01/2013