Portrait of Avidia Plautia (mother of Lucius Verus) Artist: UnknownRoman

ca. A.D. 136–138

Ancient Art

On view, 1st floor, Ancient Art

This portrait bust represents an adult woman, dressed in chiton and himation, with a small mouth, heavy brow, and almond-shaped eyes. Her hair is parted in the center and brushed sideways in waves over her ears, then swept upward to form coils of braids on the crown of her head. At least two other replicas of the same portrait type exist, suggesting that its subject is a member of the Roman imperial family. The most likely identification is Avidia Plautia, the mother of the emperor Lucius Verus. It is suggested that this portrait pre-dates the accession of Verus in A.D. 161, belonging instead to the Hadrianic period, when Aelius, Avidia's husband, served as Caesar and was the designated successor to the imperial throne.




54 × 40 × 22 cm (21 1/4 × 15 3/4 × 8 11/16 in.)

Credit Line

Leonard C. Hanna Jr., Class of 1913, and Stephen Carlton Clark, B.A. 1903, Funds

Accession Number



Imperial, Antonine


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Unknown (London art market, ex. European collection); Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., acquired from the above, 1992.

  • Susan B. Matheson and Diana E.E. Kleiner, I Claudia Women in Ancient Rome, exh. cat. (New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 1996), 74–75, no. 30, ill.
  • "Acquisitions 1992," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (1993): 152–53, ill.
  • Susan B. Matheson, "A Woman of Consequence," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (1992): 86–93, fig. 1–5.

Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

busts (sculpture), human figures (visual works), portraits

Technical metadata and APIs


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