Figure of a Woman

  • 1st century A.D.
  • Bronze
  • H-185
Catalogue Entry

1st century A.D.
H. 185.0 cm
This imposing, slightly over life-size figure of a standing woman is today missing both of its arms. Originally the left hand probably grasped the lower left end of the garment draped over her head, and the right arm was wrapped in the garment and then extended beneath the left elbow. The woman's pose is reminiscent of Greek memorial sculpture, and in Rome this figural type came to represent a mature woman in the role of the goddess Pudicitia known for her outstanding virtue.
In Imperial Rome, this facial type with its smooth ageless skin was favored for portraits of royal women, and images of the empresses were often created in the guise of this goddess. The benevolent face of this figure recalls that of Empress Antonia Minor, the mother of the emperor Claudius.