This charming bust represents a young beardless man with short hair. He wears a toga held by a clip on the right shoulder.

By comparing our bust to known representations, we can say that our piece is a representation of Tiberius.

Tiberius Claudius Nero was born in Rome in 42 BC and died in 37 AD in Misene, he was the second Roman emperor and belonged to the Julio-Claudian dynasty. He distinguished himself in his youth by his military talent by leading many victorious campaigns along the borders of the Empire. After a first voluntary exile on the island of Rhodes, he returned to Rome to be adopted by Augustus in 4 AD, thus becoming one of the potential successors of the Empire. In 14 AD, he succeeded Augustus and implemented important economic and political reforms, reduced the number of conquests and concentrated on securing the borders thanks to the action of his nephew Germanicus. After the death of his son Drusus II and Germanicus, both his heirs, Tiberius decided to promote the rise of the prefect of the praetorium Sejan. But very ambitious, this one does not have of cease that to isolate the emperor to serve its own interests. Tiberius finally moved away from Rome and retired to the island of Capri. During his absence, feeling more capable of leading the empire and with increasingly powerful political positions, Séjan tried to have Tiberius assassinated and to seize power. Informed of the plot, the emperor deposed Sejan, but aware of the hatred of the Romans towards him, he never returned to the capital, until his death in 37. It is Caligula, son of the very honorable and appreciated Germanicus who succeeds him at the head of the Empire.

Harshly criticized by ancient historians such as Tacitus and Suetonius, his personality and his reign are re-evaluated by modern historians who see in him a calm, prudent man and a skillful politician.

During the Renaissance, the Roman emperors fascinated: their reigns were studied and taught to the nobles and princes of Europe in order to learn lessons about life and politics. It was therefore not uncommon to see statues adorning the great European homes: ancient statues discovered during excavations, copies made from these ancient statues, or contemporary creation. Sometimes, real series of emperors were commissioned to represent a “batch” of model rulers. Our Tiberius was probably a member of one of these suites of characters.

The square shape of its base, relatively unusual, leads us to believe that it could be embedded in a niche, alcove or other.

Bust – Marble – 16th Century – Italy

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