Garas Klára szerk.: A Szépművészeti Múzeum közleményei 62-63. (Budapest, 1984)


Conservatori, or even with the imperial portraits on coins, the differences become definitely more marked. In spite of the program-like severity of the basic attitude characteristic of the period preceding the consolidation of Con­stantine's reign, the rendering of the hair and the facial features retained con­siderably more of the natural appearance than does the male portrait on the ring. Convincing analogues to the latter can best be quoted from the Theodo­sian renaissance which reached back to the classicism of the Constantinian period, not with a view to imitation, but rather to carry on the development which had then begun. The almost geometric modelling of the arc of the hair above the brow is as far removed from the Constantinian forms as is the markedly conceptual and decorative role of the parallel incised lines separating the individual locks and the impassive frontality of the face which can be per­ceived in spite of its deformity, and its serene insensitivity to the external forces of life — an attempt to revive, if nothing else, the outward features of classical harmony which can nonetheless be reconciled with the painstakingly accurate, detailed and vivid rendering of the clothing. If parallels to the Budapest head are sought in the court or more or less official art, the marble portraits of Valentinian II and of Arcadius in Istanbul readily lend themselves to comparison; in the minor arts, the Theodosius head on the Madrid missorium and the so-called Valentinian II bust in the Hungarian National Museum. 3 The bust depicted on the ring is obviously not that of an emperor, but rather of a high-ranking official. This is indicated by his clothing imitating cautiously, in a slightly more modest taste, the emperor's, as shown e. g. by side B of the stylistically related ivory diptych of Probianus made around 400/' Private portraits could not always be distinguished from imperial ones, since those of high-ranking persons and also of persons belonging to the lower social classes were obviously modelled after the former which invariably represented the current style of the period."' Accordingly, the analogues to the Buda^jst bust quoted from the artistic sphere outside court art also suggest the last quarter of the 4th century or the beginning of the 5th. G The evidence 3 The portraits of Valentinian II and Arcadius in Istanbul: Volbach, W. F. — H i r m e r, M.: Frühchristliche Kunst. München, 1958. Pis 51 and 57; cp. a somewhat earlier head (in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptothek): P o u 1 s e n, V.: Les portraits romains II. Copenhague, 1974. 194—195, pl. 330. The Madrid missorium: Volbach — Hir­mer: op. cit. pl. 53; S t u t z i n g e r, D., in: Spätantike u. frühes Christentum. Frankfurt a.M., 1983. 645—647 (lit.); the Theodosius head: Rumpf, A.: Stilphasen der spätantiken Kunst. Köln, 1955. PI. 15, fig. 64; the Budapest bronze bust: The Age of Spirituality, ed by W e i t z m a n n, K. New York, 1979. 26, no. 19. For imperial portraits of this period see now Stichel, R. H. W.: Die röm. Kaiserstatue am Aus­gang d. Antike. Rome, 1982. 45—48, 69; S t u t z i n g e r : op. cit. 453. 4 For imperial costume see primarily Alföldi, A., Röm. Mitt. 50 (1935) 64—66; for the fibulae H e u r g o n, J.: Le trésor de Ténès. Paris, 1958. 22—25 and pis 7, 11. For a detailed study of the mantle and the tunica in general with recent literature, Rinaldi, M. L.: Riv. 1st. Arch. St. Arte 13—14 (1964—65) 214ff., 232ff.; for the diptychon of Probianus: Gallien in der Spätantike. Katal. Mainz, 1980. 40—41, no. 21 (with earlier literature). 5 Breckenridge, J. D., in: The Age of Spirituality, 286. 6 See e. g. of the fondo d'oro medallions, the specimen in the Vatican Library (Morey, C. R.: The Gold-Glass Coll. of the Vatican Library. Città del Vaticano, 1959. 15, no. 59, pi. 9); for a recent discussion of its dating, F a e d o, L.: Annali délia Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, ser. III. 8 (1978) 1052 („second half of the 4th century").