Portrait of Hadrian

Provenance: Athens, Syggrou avenue. Height: 0.48 m. Marble: pentelic.
Chronology: 130-140 AD. EAM 3729

The figure wears a corona civica (wreath) of oak leaves, to which golden leaves were once attached. The oak and the eagle on the wreath of the philhellene emperor are characteristic symbols of Zeus and probably refer to the title of Olympios, which was given to Hadrian in AD 128 in Athens, along with the completion of the temple of the Olympian Zeus in AD 131/132.

The head was intended to be inserted into a colossal, probably cuirassed, statue. The portrait, a major work of an attic workshop, is considered to be a free rendering of the ┬źImperatori 32┬╗ type. The depiction of Hadrian with a luxuriant hairstyle and a beard signifies a shift towards Greek models of the classical period.