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Polychrome Augustus of Prima Porta
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Although the polychromy of many ancient statues has been an accepted fact for many years, and in consequence, this post exhibits nothing new, I came across this striking restoration of the Augustus of Prima Porta, performed on a plaster cast by the Vatican Museums,  to-day and wanted to share it.

The marble original, found in the Villa of Livia Augusta ''AD GALLINAS ALBAS'' has been dated to the reign of Tiberius (on account of the divine properties of the deified God Augustus, e.g. bare feet, the attendant Cupid symbolising the divine lineage of the GENS IVLIA from VENVS, and on account of the central scene, showing the Parthian king rendering the Roman eagles captured at the Crassian disaster at Carrhae in 53 B.C.E. Suetonius' Tiberius ch. IX gives us ''His first military service was as tribune of the soldiers in the campaign against the Cantabrians; then he led an army to the Orient and restored the throne of Armenia to Tigranes, crowning him on the tribunal. He besides recovered the standards which the Parthians had taken from Marcus Crassus''. Although this diplomatic victory took place in the reign of Augustus, it is thought that its prominent inclusion in the central panel of the heroic cuirass may have been to associate Tiberius more closely with his divine adoptive father).

It is based on the Doryphoros of Polycletos, a Greek bronze of the fifth century B.C.E., and seems in many ways an idealised, Hellenistic sculpture rather than a realist Roman one. 

This might be a suitable way to share striking polychrome reconstructions.

P.S. A better picture can be found at
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c..._porta.JPG


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Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.
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