Sunday, 25 September 2016

Roman Marble Equestrian Statue of Caligula, British Museum.

Roman Marble Equestrian Statue of Caligula,
British Museum.
Height 2.05 metres approx.
second century AD.
The statue was found in or near Rome in the sixteenth century, was then restored by Giacomo della Porta, and from 1652 stood in the Palazzo Farnese. Restorations include the youth's arms and three of the horse's legs. Purchased from the King of Naples in 1864.
When the sculpture first entered the Museum it was identified as a portrait of the emperor Caligula or Gaius (AD 37-41) in his youth. Later it was thought that the head might not belong to the body, and that the body itself dated to the mid-later second century, representing, perhaps, one of the imperial princes of that period. During recent cleaning, however, it was observed that the marble of the head of the youth and the unrestored parts of the horse were the same.
This information and images from the British Museum
Portrait of Gaius (Caligula), whole-length, on horseback, directed to the left, head nearly in profile to the right, holding trident in his right hand and arrow-shaped obejcts in his left hand; seashore behind.<br/>Engraving and etching

Crispjan de Passe.
Before 1600.
150 x 105 mm
British Museum.
In the foreground, statue of Caligula on horseback, in full armour, wearing the winged hat of Mercury, holding the thunderbolts of Zeus and the trident of Poseidon; pedestal decorated with the scene of his murder and another cartouche depicting a bedchamber with a naked male lying on a pile of coins; behind, troops assemble along a coastline, three ships at sea  Engraving
Adrian Collaert
c 1587 - 89
323 x 217 mm.
British Museum.
Bust portrait in an oval.  Mezzotint
John Faber the elder.
349 x 249 mm.
Early 18th Century

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