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11/02/2017 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Eleventh Annual Leon Levy Lecture

The Roman Caesars in Modern Art: Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities

Mary Beard

Please note: the Leon Levy Lecture is now fully subscribed; we are no longer accepting RSVPs or names for our wait-list. This lecture will explore the representations of The Twelve Caesars (from Julius Caesar to Domitian) in western art since the Renaissance, aiming to show that they are a much more difficult, edgy, and contested art form than those standard line-ups of busts on museum shelves would suggest. Examples will range from ceramic to waxwork, stone to silver, and they will include the extraordinary set of sixteenth-century Silver Caesars (known as the Aldobrandini Tazze), which are shortly to feature in their own show at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. One underlying question (often taken far too much for granted) is why generations of dynasts, autocrats, the old and the new rich, chose to decorate their homes and palaces with this collection of (largely) monsters.
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