Seneca 600PPII drew this portrait from an extremely impressive bronze bust in the Naples Archeological Museum. At the time it was simply labeled Seneca, but I later learned that the attribution was disputed. The online presentation of the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples describes the state of discussion in the following way:

Nowadays the prevailing interpretation is that the head is a portrait of a dramatist due to the presence, on a copy now at the Museo delle Terme at Rome, of an ivy wreath, the prize for theatrical contexts: some scholars specifically identify him as Aristophanes, because the type in question is associated, in a double herm of Villa Albani, with the portrait of Menander; according to other experts, it could be a portrait of Aesop, Hesiod, Callimachus or Apollonius of Rhodes. We can therefore be quite certain that the person depicted must have been extremely famous, as is proven by the large number of copies to survive, which number a total of forty. From the qualitative point of view, the head displays excellent workmanship; rather than a copy, it might well even be the original from which all the others are reproduced, and should be regarded as a portrait of reconstruction in which the accentuated wrinkles and folds of the face and forehead of the man, the intentionally unruly locks and the wrinkly neck contrast openly with the unwavering, penetrating gaze. The original should be ascribed to the trend of realistic virtuosity, dateable to between the third and second century BC.

It is nice to have a portrait drawing that you can label as any of a number of fabulous classical writers, depending on your needs. I have made this drawing into a limited edition print, click here for more information.

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