17th Century Baroque Roman Marble Vestal Buste


Marble bust depicting a veiled woman, probably a vestal, Roman work of the early 17th century.

A vestal (in Latin virgo vestalis) is a priestess of ancient Rome dedicated to Vesta. The vestal college and its welfare are considered essential to the maintenance and security of Rome. They must maintain the public home of the temple of Vesta located in the Roman Forum. The vestals are released from the usual social obligations to marry and give birth to children, and vow chastity for 30 years to devote themselves to the study and observance of the state rituals forbidden to the colleges of male priests .
The vestal was always and entirely dressed in white and, from the found statues, it is possible to deduce the clothes of the priestesses: it is about a tunic, a coat (stole) and a cloak (pallium or ball) in white wool. The veil (suffibulum), held by a pin (fibula), was directed towards a band (infula) which covered almost entirely the head, leaving only the bare forehead.

This bust was made between the end of the sixteenth century and the beginning of the seventeenth century, because it still underwent a strong influence of the classicism of the Renaissance, with its refined, pure and classic lines.
It rests on a 18th century marble base.


Height with base cm 46
Height without base cm 37

Bust width cm 25
Base cm 11.5 x 11.5

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