This is a large floor discovered by peasants on the Torrenuova estate, on tHE Via Casilina, on 20 August 1834. The mosaic, consisting of polychrome tesserae, adorned the cryptoporticus of a villa. Detached in sections and taken to the Casina dell’Orologio at the Villa Borghese, it was restored by Gaetano Ruspi and Filippo Scaccia, who installed it in the hall. The lacunae and the restored parts make it difficult to interpret the mosaic as a whole, but, in any case, the composition was […]

Colossal portrait of Antoninus Pius


Colossal portrait of Antoninus Pius (160 A.D.)

The portrait, reworked in modern times, portrays the emperor who acceded to the throne in A.D. 141. According to the in-ventory of the furnishings in the Palazzo Borghese at Campo Marzio compiled in 1812, it was located in this building in a niche in the great hall of the mainjipart- ment. The antique part comprises the neck and head. The latter, considered to be antique by Ennio Quirino Visconti, was mentioned by Antonio Nibby, who noted that “due to the similarity […]




The head has a regular, symmetrically oval shape, the chin is small, as is the half-open mouth; the thick-lidded eyes are elongated and a slight reduction in size of the left eye may be noticed, which may indicate that originally the head was inclined to this side. The hair is parted in the middle and secured by a hairband, while the tresses shell outwards over the temples, leaving the ears partially free. The present head, which was executed during Hadrian’s reign, is a […]

Portrait of Menander


Portrait of Menander ( 1st Century A.D.)

Only the torso, the tops of the arms, the legs up to the middle of the thighs and the beginning of the tail — which accounts for its restoration as a satyr— are antique. Up to the elbow, the posture of the satyr’s left arm in the re¬stored version is consistent with the po¬sition of the antique part, but the fore-arm ought to have been positioned further forward and lower down, as the mark left by a support on the left […]

Colossal portrait of Hadrian


Colossal portrait of Hadrian (140 A.D.)

The head reproduces the features of the elderly emperor. The provenance of the portrait from the Palazzo Borghese at Campo Marzio in Rome is confirmed by both the archaeologist Johann Joachim Winckelmann and the inventory of the palace’s furnishings compiled in 1812, when Camillo Borghese offered the Bourbon king Charles IV hospitality. The sculpture’s interest lies in the fact that, at an early date, it was studied by historians of antique art. Winckelmann considered it to be the best surviving portrait of […]

Togate figure


STATUE OF Togate figure (75 A.D.)

Although it has lost its original head. I the overall state of preservation of the statue allows it to be critically as¬sessed. The drapery that falls over the folds crossing the front of the body suggests it should be dated to a period subsequent to Augustus’s reign, though not later than the 1st century A.D. The series of folds, some of them still having sharp edges, are reminiscent of the drapery of the Julio-Claudian age, especially when sculpted in the work¬shops of […]

Portrait statue of Salonina


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 […]

Venus and Mars


Venus and Mars (54 A.D.)

This is one of numerous copies of the group of Venus and Mars, an eclectic composition of the Roman pe¬riod resulting from the juxtaposition of two types of Greek origin. Venus, in fact, is based on the model of the Aphrodite of Capua: the figure of Mars shown with her derives, at times, from the type of the Ares Borghese; at other times, as in this case, it is a revised version of Polyclitus’s Doryphorus. The Borghese group comes from Giovanni della Porta’s […]

Torso of seated Apollo


Torso of seated Apollo (125 A.D.)

This sculpture is conserved from the ab-domen to the neck. The head must have been inclined forwards to the left. The figure was seated, as the very evident folds in the abdomen demonstrate. The left arm was bent behind the head; the right hand did not go further than the shoulder, where there is the mount for a support. It is not clear what the figure was doing. The left arm bent sharply back is reminiscent of the figures of Apollo, but […]




The portrait represents a mature woman with a face that is still full. Her hair is parted in the middle and drawn tightly at the sides, leaving her ears free. At the top of her nape long false plaits form a turban on which an inverted crescent moon is placed. This coiffure, made popularby Marciana, Trajan’s sister, and Matidia, his niece, was also adopted for a time by Sabina, Matidia’s daughter who became Hadrian’s wife.
The attribute attached to the turban assimilates the woman […]

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