Roman fragment of a pilaster with two medallions or tondo with young men portraits

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Description

ITEMFragment of a pilaster with two medallions or tondo with young men portraits
MATERIALMarble
CULTURERoman
PERIOD1st – 2nd Century A.D
DIMENSIONS180 mm x 63 mm x 50 mm
CONDITIONGood condition, retains the original iron nail
PROVENANCEEx French private collection, J.M., acquired between 1970’s – 1980’s

The medallion, or tondo, has a raised undecorated border. Circular framed busts, today often called “tondos” or “medallion portraits,” were known in antiquity as imagines clipeatae (Latin for “shield images” or “shield portraits”). The circular frame is the rim of a rounded shield, a clipeus, and these life-size portraits were mounted high on the walls of civic buildings, private homes, and tombs. Examples have been found across the Roman Empire, from France to western Turkey, and they are also depicted in wall-paintings.