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White marble, height 31 cm
La Spezia, Luni, Varni Collection
Portrait in white marble from Luni, province of La Spezia, 1st century AD, Varni collection.
Slightly turned to the right, the face is triangular, widening at the temples and crowned by a hairstyle parted down in the middle, with a diadem and the white wool band reserved to priests and emperors. Displayed on the first floor of the museum, it was traditionally known as the “purported Livia”, bride of Augustus. Scholars ascribe the portrait to Antonia Minor, grandmother of Caligula, still in the Julio-Claudian period. It is thought to have been made between 37 and 39 AD when her nephew Caligula granted her special honours as Augusta.