Monday, June 17, 2019


IS this the face of Antinous? An artist called Jude Maris has created this reconstruction of his face in life based on the dimensions of his features ... from the many statues and busts of Antinous.

The artist explains:

The one thing more disastrous than having next to no images of an individual to study is having DOZENS to choose from, each slightly different from the other. Such was the case for Antinous.

While there was a general "look" to most of his statues and busts, the details of eye and nose and chin shape varied widely. One of the main reasons this reconstruction changes so drastically from the original bust is the fact that I was referencing several different sculptures from different angles and different sculptors and was picking and mixing the matching features to place on the reconstruction. It has taken the better part of two months arguing with all these different busts trying to get a consensus on the result, which even at its best is still just a guess.

The main agreements of features seemed to rest in a large straight nose, long flat brows, deep set eyes, full lips, a modest chin, rounded cheeks, and a full head of curly hair. The rest is speculation. It has been agreed that Antinous was likely shown in the best possible light in a way that was most pleasing to Hadrian's idealized memory of him.

When hair or eye color is unclear, the best option is to go for what was most likely to be common based on geneaology and geography. So, brown hair and eyes was in the middle between the extremes of black or blonde, though Antinous's ancestry suggested that his hair might have been darker than shown here. My foremost concern is and always will be the shape of the face, which is not affected by details of color.

Here is the video reconstruction: 

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