Portrait Bust of the Empress Claudia Octavia

Portrait Bust of the Empress Claudia Octavia

AD 50-70

Marble

Overall: 38.2 cm (15 1/16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1925.943

Location

Did you know?

The complex coiffure includes four elements: parted waves (top), tight curls (sides), hanging ringlets (shoulders, back), and a braided knot (back).

Description

This portrait bust depicts a young woman whose idealized features and elaborate hairstyle may identify her as the empress Claudia Octavia (r. AD 54-62), unfortunate first wife of the notorious emperor Nero. Over her tunic she wears a stola, a long garment hanging from both shoulders and distinguishing her as a married, upper-class woman. Although beloved by the Roman citizenry and described by the historian Tacitus as “aristocratic and virtuous,” Octavia was eventually divorced and banished by Nero, then ordered put to death.

See also
Collection: 
GR - Roman
Department: 
Greek and Roman Art
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture
Medium: 
Marble

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.