bust of a man with thick curly hair, beard under his chin and moustache; draping garment with round brooch at PR shoulder; unfinished concave back

Bust of Emperor Hadrian as a Young Man, c. 1590

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This bust, with its dense, curly hair and straplike beard and mustache, is a Renaissance interpretation of Roman sculptural portraits believed to represent the emperor Hadrian (reigned 117–38 CE). A great patron of the arts, Hadrian was celebrated in the Renaissance as one of Rome’s “five good emperors.” A famous admirer of Greek culture, he wore a beard and mustache to fashion himself as a Greek philosopher. His example made facial hair chic once again among the Roman elite, and beards remained all the rage for almost a century.

Details
Title
Bust of Emperor Hadrian as a Young Man
Artist Life
1556–1613
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2010.10
Curator Approved

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bust of a man with thick curly hair, beard under his chin and moustache; draping garment with round brooch at PR shoulder; unfinished concave back