Cuirass bust of Caligula
Marble. 37—41 CE.
Inv. No. 1453.
Copenhagen, New Carlsberg Glyptotek Photo by Roger B. Ulrich

Cuirass bust of Caligula.

Marble. 37—41 CE.
Inv. No. 1453.

Copenhagen, New Carlsberg Glyptotek
(Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek)

Description:
Roman marble portrait of Caligula (reign 37-41 CE), from Rome and now in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen (inv. 1453). The emperor is shown with a military chestplate (cuirass) and a crown of oak leaves tied in the back with a ribbon (fillet): the “corona civica.” Note the small marble “struts” that have been left to add support to the fillet so that it will not break off.

H: 51 cm.

The find-spot of this bust is not known for certain. It was purchased in Rome in 1896 and had been privately owned before then. Within a decade of its public debut, scholars of the time questioned its authenticity, including Furtwängler and Lippold; the latter considered the decoration of the cuirass (around neck and shoulders) to look suspiciously like a Renaissance interpretation.

Credits:
© 2010. Photo, text: Roger B. Ulrich.

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Keywords: marble cuirass bust portrait of Caligula roman emperor Caius Gaius Caligula Julio-Claudian dynasty dinastia giulio-claudia Julii-Claudii armour civil civic wreath from oak oaken leaf leaves gorgoneion gorgonion head of Gorgon Gorgons Medusa Inv No 1453
History of Ancient Rome