Palatine Museum

Statue of vestal virgin

This white marble statue of a Vestal virgin, set upon a modern base, was found in 1883 in the Roman Forum, within the complex made up of the House of the Vestals and the Temple of Vesta. The sculpture represents a young woman with a veil-covered head and the elaborate hairstyle typical of the priestesses of Vesta: a thin ribbon wraps around her braided hair, parted in the center and gathered into two large bands that cover a part of each ear on either side of the head. The face is characterized by a small mouth and well-spaced, almond-shaped eyes. The woman wears a sleeved chiton fastened by a thin belt worn under the breast and a voluminous mantle gathered around her torso with one edge pulled over her head. On the basis of its technical and physiognomic characteristics, the statue has been dated to the early Antonian age (2nd cent. AD).