The Portrait of Pompey the Great is a Roman art from 50 BCE that portrays the famous statesman and general of the late Roman Republic. Pompey was a triumvir and an associate of Julius Caesar, whom he later fought against and lost a civil war. The artwork depicts a middle-aged Pompey with a round face, wrinkles, and was made in the image of a Greek master’s archetype.
Pompey had a significant influence in the East and had major conquests during his lifetime. The portraits of Pompey and Julius Caesar set precedents for future imperial portraiture. Pompey’s political opposition to Julius Caesar led to later conflicts between the two, which are significant in Roman history.
The artwork’s importance lies in its historical and artistic significance. As a replica, it symbolizes the enthusiasm for Greek art in Roman society, its influence, and its adaptation to Roman culture. It also serves as a testament to the role of portraiture in ancient Rome, a means of immortalizing great men and women of their time.