Portrait statue of Salonina (260 A.D.)
This cloaked woman is wearing a slola with a dense series of folds, girt under the breast with a knotted ribbon; the palla, with very deep folds, leaves her right arm bare and is drawn over her head. The cloth flows over her left arm, from which a length hangs down; in her outstretched hand she holds a patera. The head on the figure, portraying an empress, seems to have been reworked from an earlier sculpture representing Faustina the Younger, the wife of Marcus Aurelius and mother of Com- modus. Behind the left ear are fragments of the hairstyle that are not part of the present portrait and are remains of Faustina’s plaits, which were thicker and longer. Datable to A.D. 260—268, this portrait represents Empress Salonina, the wife of Gallienus, as may be deduced from comparisons with coins.
The plinth is delimited at the top and bottom by cornices and at the corners by colonettes of-which only the capitals now remain. In a shell in the centre of the front is a bust of the deceased, with her hair arranged in various coils of plaits according to the fash¬ion of the Flavian and Trajanic eras. Above and below the shell are engraved lines of a Greek poem lamenting the woman’s death and praising her skill as a musician. The epithet of Musa is related to her musical activity, confirmed on the sides by the cithara (on the left) and the lyre (on the right): depicted in the manner familiar in Greek pottery, the latter is composed of a tortoise shell and an animal horn. The restrained handling of the drapery and the severity of the decoration contrast with the colouristic effects of the head, which is still influenced by the style of the Flavian era