|This is a plaster cast of a fragmentary bust of Augustus now in the British Museum in London (BM inv. 1877). It is one of two casts of this object in the Royal Academy; see also 04/312. The ancient head, neck, and a small area of chest have been set into a larger nude bust which rests on a cylindrical support and features a blank name plate. |
The ancient object was probably found in Rome or its environs before 1737. It was acquired by Edmund Burke in the 18th c., and in 1812 entered the collection of the British Museum.
The portrait follows a model portrait type distributed between 31 BC and 14 AD. This model is preserved in more copies than any other ancient Greek and Roman sculpture and testifies to the importance and influence of the first emperor of Rome.