Middlebury College Museum of Art

Thursday, October 25

The Politics of Portraiture: The Head of Gordian III at Middlebury

Illustrated Lecture
Time: 4:30pm
Location: Mahaney Center for the Arts, Sabra Field Lecture Hall (Room 125)

Pieter Broucke, Curator of Ancient Art


The “Gordian Master,” an anonymous third-century C.E. sculptor whose oeuvre has been reconstructed through comparison of formal and conceptual characteristics shared among multiple works, conceived the portraits of several members of the Roman imperial circle. Pieter Broucke, Curator of Ancient Art, will discuss two works in the museum’s collection that have been attributed to this artist: the heads of emperor Gordian III (225–244 C.E.) and his wife Tranquillina (c. 225–after 244 C.E.).

Portrait Head of Gordian III
Gordian Master (Roman, active 230s–250s), Portrait Head of Gordian III, c. 238–255 C.E., marble, 6 x 7 x 13 inches. Collection of Middlebury College Museum of Art. Gift (by exchange) of Wilson Farnsworth, George Mead, and Henry Sheldon, 2014.042.