Portrait / Drawing of a face

((:caput hominis ad sin.))

Description of Drawing (English): head of a person facing left
Findspot: Smyrna, Basilica (Agora.1)
Drawing Category: Human figures
Writing Style: charcoal
  • Graffito Height: 15.5
  • Graffito Length: 13.5
Bibliography: Bagnall, R. S. et al., Graffiti from the Basilica in the Agora of Smyrna (2016): 229.
Commentary: Dipinto of a human bust, located in the western half of the back wall of Bay 22, toward the middle. The head, possibly of a female, is drawn in profile toward the left, and the bust is cut short right below the shoulders. The figure has an up hairdo consistent with late second century fashion: in the front the hair is wavy and descends to cover the forehead, while at the back the hairs are gathered together in a bun fastened with a fillet. The woman in the graffito is depicted with a rather long, “Roman” nose, thick and protruding lips, and round and prominent chin. The large, almond-shaped eye, positioned near the hair line, is completed with eyelashes and a pupil which is turned to look directly at the viewer. Similar hairstyles are attested on portraits of Faustina the Younger, like the one at Musei Capitolini in Rome dated to 147–148, or of Bruttia Crispina, like the head at the Altes Museum, Berlin, dated to 178–180. Basic information on portraits of these two Roman queens can be found in Kleiner 1992: 277–80.
Suggested Citation: AGP-SMYD00221, The Ancient Graffiti Project, <http://ancientgraffiti.org/Graffiti/graffito/AGP-SMYD00221> [accessed: 21 Apr 2024]

Editor: Roger S. Bagnall

Principal Contributor: Roger S. Bagnall

Last Revision: 2016-10-03