Inv. n°: MMoCA488

Roman Marble Bust of the Emperor Caracalla depicted as Sole Ruler

In AD 212 this portrait type, the so-called 'sole ruler' type, replaced the portrait of Caracalla as the young successor to the throne. It remained in use until AD 217. Depicted turning sharply to his left, his face contorted in a characteristic forbidding frown, his creased forehead with curving eyebrows drawn together, the eyes deep-set with articulated pupils, the nose broad with a short moustache above his downturned mouth, his strong chin cleft and covered with a short curling beard, his hair composed of tight curls with drilling, the thick sideburns joining his beard, wearing a paludamentum draped around his shoulders. Mounted on a turned marble pedestal base and tall marble plinth.

h. 51 cm (70 cm including base)

Late Severan Period, A.D. 212-217



  • Dennis and Leen Inc., Los Angeles, California, 1976
  • Acquired from the above by Chaucer Fine Arts, London, 21st January 1977
  • Consigned by the above to Bonhams, Sale 16853, London, 28th October 2009
  • Acquired at Bonhams, London, 19th January 2010, lot 1


  • G.B. Waywell, Rome A vision of Antiquity, Pictures and Drawings, Classical Sculpture, Chaucer Fine Arts, 12th June – 18th July 1980, p. 53
  • Minerva: the International Review of Ancient Art & Archaeology, September/October 2009, Volume 20, advert
  • A. Truong, Bonhams, 22nd October 2009, [on-line] available at:
  • Roman Times, Bust of Caracalla goes on the auction block, 23rd October 2009, [on-line] available at:
  • Paul Fraser Collectibles, ‘Cruellest’ Roman Emperor’s 250K Bust to Auction, 27th October 2009, [on-line] available at: to-auction
  • "Antiquities Sale", Bonhams, London, 28th October 2009, lot 224
  • J. Pollini, "Roman Marble Sculpture" in M. Merrony (ed.), Mougins Museum of Classical Art, France, 2011, p. 103, fig. 62
  • V. Bougault, "L'antiquité au goût du jour", Connaissance des Arts, 2012, p. 115
  • J. Oorthuys, "Enjoy the Experience of a Museum with Difference! MACM", Ancient Warfare, Slovakia, June/July 2020, vol. XII, issue 6, p. 59
  • J. Osgood, "Enjoy the Experience of a Museum with Difference! MACM" in J. Oorthuys (ed.), Ancient History, Karwansaray Publishers, Rotterdam, June/July 2020, no. 28, p. 59
  • Ville de Mougins, "C'est quoi cette oeuvre?'", Mougins Infos, France, December 2020 /January 2021, no. 76, p. 28


  • Rome, A vision of Antiquity, Pictures and Drawings, Classical sculpture, Chaucer Fine Arts, London, UK, 12th June 1980 — 18th June 1980
  • Musée d'Art Classique de Mougins (MACM), Mougins, France, from June 2011

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