Head of a bearded man

Testa maschile barbata
Ptolemaic period (second half of the 1rst century B.C.)
Material and technique: 
Black diorite
Inv MB 31

When Barracco bought this extraordinarily expressive portrait, he thought it was of Julius Caesar, made by Egyptian craftsmen during Caesar’s stay in their land. However, the stylistic features of the head indicate that it was actually one of a series of portraits made during Ptolemaic times (332-30 B.C.) and characterized by the presence of a small column at the back. In this portrait, the fact that the subject is wearing a diadem decorated with a star indicates that he was a priest.

Masterpieces of the hall

The hall

Nearly all the reliefs in the Barracco Museum’s collection belong to the funerary sphere. 
They come from a type of tomb, the mastaba (from the Arabic word for bench), which was especially characteristic of Old Kingdom necropolises.