This Fall, the Artwork of the Week celebrates the Museum’s “Season of Portraiture.”
Known for self-indulgence and a weak administration, Lucius Verus (130–169 CE, ruled 161–169 CE) was overshadowed by his extremely popular adopted brother Marcus Aurelius. The two shared imperial power for 8 years in the first joint administration in the history of the Roman Empire. Verus modeled his portrait on that of his greatly admired co-ruler with its curly hair and long beard. However, Verus’ portraits are distinguished by the three small pointed locks located along his hair line. In fact, Verus was so proud of his fair hair that he reportedly sprinkled gold dust into his locks to enhance their luster.