Bust of Sabina

Inv. Scu 848

Bust of Vibia Sabina, wife of emperor Hadrian. The face, turned to its left, has regular features, a slightly pronounced nose and small, full lips. She is wearing a hig diadem, symbol of her royal status, over hair parted in the centre, tied back and arranged in wavy locks.

The vest is accurately carved and reveals the body shape; this is a rare occurrence in imperial women portraits and led to supposition that it is modeled after a Greek classical sculpture (Vth Century BC). This particular and elaborate hairstyle indicated that Sabina was portrayed as a goddess, probably Artemis.

The bust is to be dated in the Hadrianic period, but it is still uncertain the context of provenience: either from the Horti Vettiani or from the area of the basilica of Santa Prassede.