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The Nerva-Antonines in Florence

The Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence is one of the oldest and most famous art museums in the world. In addition to Renaissance masterpieces including works from Botticelli, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, the Uffizi houses one of the world’s most important collections of ancient Roman and Greek statues. The Medicis’ interest in ancient art started with the founder of the family Cosimo I de’ Medici (1519-1574) and grew over nearly four decades. The antiquities were stored and displayed in several rooms in Palazzo Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti where they could be admired by the visitors to the court. The antiquities were later transferred to the Uffizi.

Most of the ancient statues and busts are displayed on the u-shaped second floor of the museum. The wide corridors are filled with numerous portraits of the members of the different imperial dynasties including those of the Nerva-Antonine dynasty.

Nerva (ruled 96 – 98 A.D.)

Bust of Emperor Nerva in lorica military cloak and paludamentum, Greek marble, 96 – 98 AD. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Trajan (ruled 98 – 117 A.D.)

Statue loricata with the head of Trajan, Greek marble (head), Italic marble (?) (statue), 98 – 108 AD, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Trajan, Greek marble and oxyx, ca. 110 AD, the bust is a modern work, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Bust with the head of Trajan, ca. 105 AD, the head is inserted in a modern bust of red marble, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

 

Ulpia Marciana, beloved elder sister of Trajan

Female statue with a portrait of Ulpia Marciana, 110-120 AD, with modern restorations, Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence

 

Salonina Matidia, niece of Trajan and mother-in-law of Hadrian

Statue of a Roman lady, so-called Sabina, with a portrait of Matidia, 2nd century AD with modern restorations, Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence

 

Hadrian (ruled 117 – 138 A.D.)

Bust of Hadrian, 117-121 AD (of the Termini type), Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

 

Antinous, favorite of Hadrian

Bust of Antinous, 130-138 AD, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

 

Lucius Aelius Caesar, intended successor of Hadrian

Lucius Aelius Caesar, intended successor of Hadrian who died prematurely, 2nd century AD, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

 

Antoninus Pius (ruled 138 – 161 A.D.)

Marble bust with the head of Antoninus Pius, middle of 2nd century AD, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

 

Empress Faustina the Elder, wife of Antoninus Pius

Bust of Empress Faustina the Elder, wife of Antoninus Pius, circa 141 AD, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

 

Marcus Aurelius (ruled 161 – 180 A.D.)

Young Marcus Aurelius, circa 150 – 160 AD, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Marble bust with the head of Marcus Aurelius, end of 2nd century AD, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

 

Empress Faustina the Younger, wife of Marcus Aurelius

Bust of Empress Faustina the Younger, wife of Marcus Aurelius, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

 

Lucius Verus (ruled 161 – 169 A.D.)

Modern marble bust with the head of Lucius Verus, 2nd half of 2nd century AD, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

 

Empress Crispina, wife of Commodus

Portrait of Crispina, wife of Commodus, 180 – 187 AD Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

In addition to the members of the Nerva-Antonine dynasty, the Uffizi houses a number of portraits of unknown citizens from the same era. Some of these portraits were incorrectly attributed to members of the Nerva-Antonine dynasty during the Renaissance but the original inscriptions have remained.

Private portraiture of unknown citizen from the Nerva-Antonine era

Portrait of Vibia Sabina (wife of Hadrian) with a Flavian hairstyle? Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Portrait of an elderly woman inspired by the iconography of Marciana (sister of Trajan), 98 – 117 AD, Greek marble (head) and red onyx (modern bust) Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Portrait of an unknown young man from the Antonine era (previously thought to be Lucius Verus and Marcus Aurelius), Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Portrait of an unknown young man so-called “Young Hadrian”, 130-140 AD, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Bust with the head of a young man (previously known as Marcus Aurelius), mid 2nd century AD, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Togated statue with the head of a man, circa 100-200 AD. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Portrait of an unknown woman so-called Lucilla, mid 2nd century AD, Apuan marble, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Portrait of an unknown woman so-called Lucilla, mid 2nd century AD, Apuan marble. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Private portrait of a citizen of the late Antonine period thought to be Commodus, 160 – 180 AD. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

 

Many more portraits of the Nerva-Antonines dynasty can be viewed from my image collection on Flickr.

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Originally published on Following Hadrian, republished with permission.
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Carole Raddato's favourite hobby is travelling and for the last 8 years she has taken a huge interest in the history of the ancient world. She has dedicated all her free time to this passion. She loves to share with other history fans all the incredible facts and stories that she discovers throughout her journeys. She is neither a professional photographer nor an ancient history scholar, but she hopes that everybody can enjoy her photos. She is particularly interested in everything related to the emperor Hadrian whom she finds fascinating. He was himself an incessant traveller, visiting every province in the Empire during his reign. When Carole is looking for new ideas for her travels, she usually takes inspiration from his journeys and it is a great motivation for her to follow him in his footsteps.