A pair of hand carved 20th century pair of Roman Emperors Torso’s. The torso is carved from weathered statutory marble on a travertine base. One of the most striking objects on display in the Mary and Michael Jaharis Galleries of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Art at the Art Institute of Chicago is, for me anyway, this sculpted marble torso of an unknown Roman Emperor. It is all the more intriguing given that the decoration on the sculpture is so detailed and yet we do not know which Emperor it represents. But, from the elaborate dress classical archaeologists are certain that it is the torso of an Emperor in full victory regalia. Other than that, very little else is known about the sculpture and where it came from. Portrait sculptures of Emperors and statesmen such as this one would have been quite common in cities and towns throughout the Roman Empire, placed in the streets and on public monuments for all to see. The Emperor’s torso is covered by a highly decorated bronze corselet. The corselet is shaped to look like a bare, muscled chest, alluding to the physical power and strength of the Emperor. Hanging of the lower edge of the corselet are two rows of leather flaps, each decorated with a different face. These low relief decorative elements are thought to magically protect the Emperor from harm. The detail of the decoration is quite stunning.



Height: 47.25 in. (120 cm)

Width: 23.63 in. (60 cm)

Depth: 11.82 in. (30 cm)

20th Century Pair of Roman Emperor’s Torso’s