Portrait of the Emperor Augustus
Taranto, corner between via F. Di Palma and via Pupino | First half of the 1st century A.D.
The emperor Augustus is represented with his head covered by a flap of his mantle (veiled head), a typical sign in Roman culture linked to religious pietas. The face, austere but classically youthful, is characterized by the typical hairstyle that identifies the type known as “Prima Porta”, developed in Rome in 27 B.C.
The portrait, whose style places it in the Julio-Claudian age, is connected to a series of togaed statues and portraits found in the area of the ancient Roman forum, in places that are not adjacent to each other as a result of the abandonment of public buildings in the city in the late ancient period. The portraits, which all have a veiled head and represent Claudius and a prince Julius-Claudius, together with others that are already in the Capece Latro collection, probably belonged to a single cycle of portraits of Claudia and Caligula’s period exhibited inside a public building of the forum.