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Faustina the Elder at the Getty Villa


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I was recently in Los Angeles and took the opportunity to visit the Getty Villa in Malibu. This is a separate museum complex from the Getty Center in Los Angeles. The Getty Villa is devoted to artifacts from the ancient world. The collection includes 132 ancient coins, the majority of which are not on display. On display, however, was this aureus of Faustina the Elder featuring the DIVA FAVSTINA obverse inscription in use from AD 145-161. Its reverse type, according to the Getty web page, is the Ceres standing left, holding corn ears and long torch type with the CERES legend of AD 160-161, the last reverse type issued for the empress.

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I was particularly intrigued by a pair of statues on display -- a greater than life sized marble sculpture of Faustina the Elder, which likely depicted her as Ceres, and a half-meter sculpture of Nemesis with the facial features and hairstyle of Faustina the Elder. Both were sculpted by unknown artists and each dates to the reign of Antoninus Pius, AD 138-161.

Regarding the statue of the empress, the museum's website notes, "The size of this statue indicates that it occupied a public space, perhaps a city square or a temple dedicated to the divine Faustina. Although they are now missing, Faustina may have held attributes of poppies and ears of wheat in her lowered left hand. That being the case, this statue would have portrayed the empress in the guise of Ceres, the goddess of [agricultural] fertility."

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About the statue of Nemesis, the museum's website explains, "The unknown Roman sculptor has given the goddess the facial features and hairstyle of Faustina I, the wife of the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius, who ruled from A.D. 138 to 161. Members of the imperial family and other wealthy high-status Romans often chose to have themselves depicted in the guise of gods or mythological figures. The depiction of Faustina as Nemesis emphasizes her role as protectress of the empire. This statuette was probably displayed in a shrine dedicated to the worship of the Roman emperor."

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Edited by Roman Collector
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1 hour ago, Roman Collector said:

I was recently in Los Angeles and took the opportunity to visit the Getty Villa in Malibu. This is a separate museum complex from the Getty Center in Los Angeles. The Getty Villa is devoted to artifacts from the ancient world. The collection includes 132 ancient coins, the majority of which are not on display. On display, however, was this aureus of Faustina the Elder featuring the DIVA FAVSTINA obverse inscription in use from AD 145-161. Its reverse type, according to the Getty web page, is the Ceres standing left, holding corn ears and long torch type with the CERES legend of AD 160-161, the last reverse type issued for the empress.

20221010_094728.jpg.0fe8f06b320cab7957195b83b3a63d9a.jpg

I was particularly intrigued by a pair of statues on display -- a greater than life sized marble sculpture of Faustina the Elder, which likely depicted her as Ceres, and a half-meter sculpture of Nemesis with the facial features and hairstyle of Faustina the Elder. Both were sculpted by unknown artists and each dates to the reign of Antoninus Pius, AD 138-161.

Regarding the statue of the empress, the museum's website notes, "The size of this statue indicates that it occupied a public space, perhaps a city square or a temple dedicated to the divine Faustina. Although they are now missing, Faustina may have held attributes of poppies and ears of wheat in her lowered left hand. That being the case, this statue would have portrayed the empress in the guise of Ceres, the goddess of [agricultural] fertility."

20221006_160217.jpg.0c3776d114778fad74d50752f52576d2.jpg
20221006_160211.jpg.190586ebb2f83d29d1b92ed1e08c5ab7.jpg
20221006_160230.jpg.704db7e411d99783c83c8838ba62ce68.jpg
20221006_160238.jpg.b4c820104fea20387ca07433ce125c39.jpg

About the statue of Nemesis, the museum's website explains, "The unknown Roman sculptor has given the goddess the facial features and hairstyle of Faustina I, the wife of the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius, who ruled from A.D. 138 to 161. Members of the imperial family and other wealthy high-status Romans often chose to have themselves depicted in the guise of gods or mythological figures. The depiction of Faustina as Nemesis emphasizes her role as protectress of the empire. This statuette was probably displayed in a shrine dedicated to the worship of the Roman emperor."

20221006_160403.jpg.fb0ae34be8b4259936725919dc11d921.jpg
20221006_160356.jpg.28ebf33262724a4a9deba17bdc64e7bb.jpg

Looks like a fine place to visit. The Nemsis statue is stunning. Any ref to whose head she is standing on?

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