The Lost shield portraits of Aphrodisias. Reflections on Style and Patronage.

  • Julia Lenaghan Oxford University
Keywords: Late Antique, portraits, head portraits, sculpture (visual works), reliefs (visual works), patronage, Aphrodisias, Byzantine Empire, Gaudin Paul, shield portraits,


The paper re-examines a series of lost shield portraits discovered by Paul Gaudin in Aphrodisias in 1904-1905. It focuses on three aspects of these objects: the technical details of the carving and choice of model (style), the structural specifications (manufacture), and the subject matter (iconography and theme). It endeavors to place these objects in the context of other shield portraits found more recently at Aphrodisias and to evaluate them in light of recent scholarship on late antique sculpture. It stresses the similarities between these shield portraits and others from the site and reflects on possible contexts for the Aphrodisian shield portraits, considering for the first time the possibility that all of these Aphrodisian shield portraits might have come from the same context.

Author Biography

Julia Lenaghan, Oxford University
Oxford University
How to Cite
Lenaghan, J. (2019) “The Lost shield portraits of Aphrodisias. Reflections on Style and Patronage.”, Acta ad archaeologiam et artium historiam pertinentia, 300, pp. 189-216. doi: 10.5617/acta.6871.