marmarinos: Detail of an ancient Roman statue …


Detail of an ancient Roman statue of a woman in the pudicitia pose, with pudicitia being loosely translated into English as “modesty” or “chastity.” Pudicitia is a Latin word that stems from pudor, another Latin word meaning “shame” or the “sense of shame” that compelled Roman men and women to behave in socially acceptable ways.

The pudicitia scheme or style, as it is called by scholars today, was commonly used to depict ancient Greek and Roman women in art. The pose is characterized by the woman’s head covering and the bending of both her arms, with one bent up to her face and the other crossed over her torso. That her arms are covered by her mantle is also characteristic of the pudicitia style.

Currently located in the Vatican Museums, this statue is a Flavian-era (69-96 CE) Roman copy of a Hellenistic Greek original (323 BCE-30 CE). Photo taken by Egisto Sani on Flickr

The information on the pudicitia style comes from Portrait of a Lady:
A New Statue at the Yale University Art Gallery
by Lisa R. Brody (2008).