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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Portrait head of a "barbarian" (probably a Dacian)

Portrait head of a "barbarian" (probably a Dacian)

1st - 2nd century

Non-Roman foreigners, often called "barbarians," were those living in Rome's provinces or beyond its borders who did not take on Roman language, dress, and customs. Among those foreigners were the Dacians, a group living west of the Black Sea, who were incorporated into the Roman Empire after falling to the Emperor Trajan in the second century A.D. Initially viewed as wild, Roman artisans depicted Dacians with unruly hair and uncivilized, wild beards. The Dacian tribes eventually "Romanized," as evidenced in the territory's modern-day name: Romania.

15 1/2 x 9 1/2 x 12 1/2 in. (39.4 x 24.2 x 31.8 cm)
Gift of Mrs. John C. Atwood, Jr.
Now on view at the Seattle Art Museum


Exhibition HistoryZurich, Switzerland, Kunsthaus Zurich, Altromische Portrat-Plastik, 1953, (1953), no. 49
Published ReferencesThe Art Quarterly, Autumn 1956, p. 302, illus. p. 303

Altromische Portrat-Plastik, (Kunsthaus Zurich, 1953), no. 49

SAM Engagement Book, Aug. 28, 1966

Unpublished Master's thesis on private portraiture of the Antonine and Severan periods (2nd cent. A.d.) by Linda Ruth Wagner of Washington U. in St. Louis, Missouri. (Letter: On p. 302 of the 1956 vol of Art Quarterly, your museum is listed as having aquired a second cent. A.D. marble head of a barbarian, Linda Ruth Wagner, Sept 25, 1970)

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