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Portrait of a Roman woman

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek


The bust is made of white marble. The tip of the nose and the lower left part of the neck section are broken off and missing. Traces of red paint can be seen in the hair with the naked eye. On the right side of the woman’s face clear red patination is visible.

In 1955 the plaster restoration was removed and the bust was washed and given a new plinth. In May 2000 a marble sample was taken from the neck for an isotopic analysis.

Description of object

The tip of the nose is broken off and is missing. At the back of the head, a portion of the hair has been attached. The top crown was already attached in ancient times. This rather flat piece has been executed in quite a rough manner. When it is removed it becomes apparent that there is a cylindrical piece of marble measuring 5.5×5.0 cm which has been drilled out from the head. At one time, this piece served as the material for a new nose. Only part of the material was used and then the cylinder was put back in its place again. The lower left part of the neck section is broken off and is missing.

Her wavy hair is parted in the middle. Around her temples and over the ears, each of the numerous locks of hair, which are arranged in five distinct rows, curls inwards over the adjacent row. Two strands of corkscrew curls hang down on either side of the neck.

Choice of methods

Visual examination

  • Macroscopic

Marble identification method

  • Isotopic analysis -waiting for results.


F. Poulsen (1951), Catalogue of Ancient Sculpture in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, cat. no. 630.

F. Johansen (1994), Catalogue. Roman Portraits I. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, cat. No. 65.

  • IN 751
  • Portrait
  • 1st century C.E.
  • Roman Imperial
  • White marble
  • Bought in 1887 from Count Tyszkiewicz’s collection.
  • H. 39 cm.

Selected photos

  • _mg_9024