|Sep 12, 2008, 09:04 PM||#1|
Portrait of Augustus Frontal, Right, Left and Rear View- Joe Geranio
Photos taken by Joe Geranio and may be used if credit is given. Augustus re-cut from Caligula?
Roman, about A.D. 50
15 3/8 in.
After many years of civil war, Augustus took complete power in Rome in 27 B.C. He claimed that he was re-establishing the Roman Republic, but he actually founded the Roman Empire. Visual signs emphasizing its power and legitimacy bolstered this new political order.
Portraits of Augustus served as symbols of his political agenda rather than corresponding to his physical features as described in written sources. Augustus is always shown in an ideal, classicizing style, and he never ages over the length of his reign. One constant feature of Augustus's portraits is his hairstyle, with its distinctive forked locks of hair on his forehead.
This portrait was carved about the middle of the first century A.D., after Augustus' death in A.D. 14. Posthumous portraits of Augustus were popular and were often used by his successors to legitimize their rule. This portrait, however, may originally have been a head of Caligula, a later emperor. The head's wide-open eyes and concave temples characterize Caligula's portraits. When the hated Caligula was murdered in A.D. 41, most portraits of him were destroyed, but some may have been re-carved into other, more popular emperors.
For more on Julio Claudian iconography and portrait study see:
Geranio, Joe - Portraits of Caligula: The Seated Figure? Vol. XX, No. 1 (1997) Society for Ancient Numismatics
Geranio, Joe - Portraits of Caligula: The Seated Figure? Vol. 21, No. 9 . (2007) The Celator
Multa cum Amicitia
Last edited by Joe Geranio : Oct 4, 2008 at 06:08 PM.