The relief is broken irregularly on all edges, with a piece sticking up behind the head. The relief fragment of a triumphal scene, perhaps from the triumphal arch of the Emperor Claudius, in Rome, shows the helmeted head of a Roman soldier (a Signifer or standard-bearer). The soldier's helmet...
The relief is broken irregularly on all edges, with a piece sticking up behind the head. The relief fragment of a triumphal scene, perhaps from the triumphal arch of the Emperor Claudius, in Rome, shows the helmeted head of a Roman soldier (a Signifer or standard-bearer). The soldier's helmet is largely obscurred by a bearskin or lionskin "cap," but can be seen to be of an ornate Attic form, with elaborately decorated brow-plate and cheekpieces. The scholar N. Hannestad (Tradition in Late Antique Sculpture, pp. 87-88, note 121) argues that the drill holes seen on the cheekpieces and on the beast's eye are later re-workings of the piece, however, his hypothesis is not universally accepted. The fur of the animal skin cap has been partly chiseled away, evidently when the relief was walled-up in a building in the Piazza Sciarra. Otherwise, the surfaces are good, with a slightly crusty light gray to yellow to white coloring. On the back is a funerary inscription, with letters of Trajanic style (possibly of Renaissance date?). These have been filled with red.
By date unknown: in the Piazza Sciarra in Rome (drawn there by Pierre Jacques in 1577); ? date unknown: from an old British collection (the Duke of Buccleuch?); by date unknown: with Spink & Son, Ltd., 5, 6 & 7 King Street, St. James's, London, S.W. 1; 1952: purchased by Peter Wilson of Sotheby's, London, from Spink & Son, Ltd.; by date unknown: with J. J. Klejman, 982 Madison Avenue, New York; May 1959: purchased from J. J. Klejman by Cornelius C. Vermeule III on behalf of MFA; purchased by MFA from Cornelius C. Vermeule III, June 9, 1959, for $ 1,275.00 (this is the total price for 59.336 and 59.337)
Charles Amos Cummings Bequest Fund
Roman, Imperial, Later Julio-Claudian or Trajanic,
Place of Manufacture
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 237; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 112 (additional published references).
Height x width: 33.5 x 33.5 cm (13 3/16 x 13 3/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Marble, Italian or possibly Pentelic