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Female statue with ideal portrait

Roman art

150 A.D. approx.
Third Corridor (A24)
Greek marble
180 cm (height)
1914, n. 30

Coming from the garden of the Villa di Pratolino, a Medici residence to the north of Florence, this female statue was placed in the Gallery during the second half of the 18th century. The statue, in fact, was part of those works that were used to replace the marbles that had been lost in the fire of 1762. In that year, in fact, the flames, which started in the apartment of a custodian, destroyed more than half of the third corridor, causing the collapse of the ceiling and the destruction of dozens of busts and full-length statues. In this work, the head with the part of the cloak (himation) that surrounds it, the lowered left hand with the patera, as well as some parts of the feet and the edges of the garment, appear to be the result of integrations. The identity of the subject is not known, nor the possible model to which the author may have referred, although inspiration from a funerary prototype of the late classical age is suspected: the veiled head and the patera are in fact indicators of values such as chastitas, pudicitia and pietas, which are well suited to the funerary destination of the work. Because of the contained chiaroscuro play and the moderate use of the cord drill, the statue can be dated to around 150 AD.


A. Romualdi (a cura di), Studi e restauri. I marmi antichi della Galleria degli Uffizi, II, Firenze, Polistampa, 2007 (con contributi di M. Giachi, C. Pacini, Statua femminile con ritratto idealizzato, pp. 144-149; M. Masini, P. Rosa, Il restauro, pp. 150-153) e bibliografia precedente.

Text by
Fabrizio Paolucci
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