Sarcophagus Fragment, Roman, ca. 240-250 CE, The Art Institute of Chicago

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Et tu.....Caesar?

Divers find Caesar bust that may date from 46B.C. They found what now? OK, let my state that I am not an expert on archaeology, or anything for that matter. But that bust kind of maybe looks like Gaius Julius Caesar......kind of. Ever since the Renaissance brought renewed interest in Ancient Rome, people have been tacking names on portrait busts without any historical evidence to back up the claim. Some guy digs up a bust of an old man and says "Hey, that must be Marius." Now, I'm not saying that is what happened recently in France, but they really don't give you any evidence in the article, do they. Now, I know I should only expect so much from a Yahoo! news article, but I'm left with my doubts. Just because you pull a male portrait bust out of the Rhone near Arles, you can't assume that it's Caesar. Nor can you assume that it's from 46 B.C. I know you can tell by the technique the general period from which a statute is from, but through around words like "undoubtedly," especially in the archaeological field, is asking for trouble. If there is "doubtless" proof on the origins of the statue, show me, because I would love to see it. Until then, I'm going to consider this bust a "possible" representation of Caesar. Here are some other busts of Caesar, both real and supposed.

Is the Rhone bust Caesar? What do you think?


Bogoljub said...

My friend...

There is no any known bust of Caesar made during his life. All of them were sculpted after or much after his death and for Art historian there are no doubts - all of them are idealized representations of Caesar. This newly discovered bust from Rhone is only one made during his life and thus it may be realistic.