The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of October 25, 2016

The Emperor as Philosopher, probably Marcus Aurelius (reigned AD 161-180), c. 180-200

bronze, hollow cast in several pieces and joined, Overall: h. 193.00 cm (75 15/16 inches). Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1986.5

The extremely high quality and monumental scale of this bronze draped figure suggest that this is an imperial portrait. The pose with left leg forward, right arm raised to the chest, and right hand visible - is identical to several Greek portraits of philosophers. The figure is most probably the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, who was a student of Stoicism, a set of Greek philosophical beliefs popular among educated Romans of his day. Marcus Aurelius wrote a collection of philosophical reflections called Meditations.

MFA Boston 1967-70, Ancient Art From Private Collections
Indianapolis Museum of Art (1974) 220-223

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