STATUE OF CLAUDIUS AS JUPITER2020-01-10T08:09:43+00:00

Project Description


Discovered during the excavations at Vigna Lucidi, at Santa Croce, near Frascati, carried out in 1820 (belonging to the Borghese, the Vigna had been leased to Cesare Lucidi), the statue portrays an emperor who, in the 19th-century documents, is identified as Domi-tian, but who is probably Claudius. The modern head is an imitation of the youthful “handsome Tiberius” type, as described by a contemporary, the historian Velleius Paterculus; it derives from the sculpture formerly in the Borghese Collection that was taken to the Louvre in 1807. The statue was restored before the portrait of Tiberius, found at Gabii in 1793, ended up in the French museum. The weight of the figure is on the right leg, while the left leg is brought forward and the foot rests completely on the ground. The left arm is extended along his side, while the hem of his paludament rests on his forearm; in his hand he is holding a short sword. The cloak is wrapped around his sides and falls with many tight folds to his knees.The present statue derives from the type : of Jupiter used for the apotheosis of the sovereign, as the presence of an eagle (restored) emphasizes.
Framed by a fillet on the front of the altar is a small sunken panel with a scene in high relief. This represents a funeral banquet with a woman, dressed in a stola and palla, reclining on a bed; two servants stand at the head and foot of the bed. On the sides of the altar are the traditional funerary symbols of the patera (right) and urn (left). It has been possible to date the altar thanks to the woman’s hairstyle, in the Flavian manner, and the composition of the scene, which recalls the Tomb of the Haterii, in the Vatican Museums.

Click here to book your Borghese Gallery tickets or here to book a Borghese Gallery tour