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Head of a Roman woman

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek


This potrait of a Roman woman also previously called Livia or Agrippina Minor bears clear vestiges of black irises and pupils. Only a few traces of yellow were found on the hair and a few red grains on the skin. VIL was performed without any result.

Description of object

In 1980 it became apparent that the crown was actually one centimetre too large. Also, the nose that was attached at that time was modern. Through isotope-analysis of the stable isotopes carbon 13C and oxygen 80, it was determined that the head itself was made of marble from Paros, the crown was made of Asia Minor marble from Ephesus and the now-removed bridge of the nose was of Carrara marble.

The lower part of the sculpture, from the base of the neck downwards, is missing. The upper part of the sculpture is also missing, from the middle of the forehead upwards.

Choice of methods

Visual examination

  • Macroscopic
  • Microscopic in situ

Technical imaging

  • UV
  • VIL

Visual examination

Clear traces of black are found in irises and pupils of both eyes but no pigment grains are found. A pale yellowish colour is observed above the left eyelid. Few traces of red are found on the lower lip and on the right cheek. Traces of yellow are found on the hair on the back of the head.

Technical imaging

VIL: VIL was performed without any result.

UV-FL: UV-FL Imaging does not reveal fluorescent phenomena related to organic lakes or resins. The head appears bluish.


F. Johansen (1995), Roman Portraits I. Catalogue. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, 104-105, cat. no. 40.

  • IN 747 and IN 614
  • Portrait
  • 1st century C.E.
  • Roman Imperial
  • Marble
  • Acquired in 1897 from Count Tyszkiewicz in Paris.
  • H. 27 cm.

Selected photos

  • In747_t_0
  • In747_t_90
  • In747_t_180
  • In747_t_270
  • In747_d_0_eyes
  • In747_uv_t_0
  • In614_t_0
  • In614_t-90
  • In614_t_180
  • In614_t_270
  • In614_uv_t_0