• Cameo: Augustus, Livia and Young Nero

    Dimensions:
    diameter: 8,3 cm

Cameo: Augustus, Livia and Young Nero

Ancient Rome, mid-1st century

A cameo of such large size was probably intended to adorn a priestly diadem or the banner of a legion. The subject is one of the most striking examples of the expression of the dynastic theme in glyptic art. The deified Augustus and Livia linking hands in harmony symbolize the solidarity of the rulers. At the same time, the couple seem to be presenting to the viewer the young heir, depicted above them, as a guarantee of the continuation of traditions, of long years of prosperity and tranquillity. Agrippina, the wife of Emperor Claudius, who commissioned this work was using it to illustrate her son’s right to the throne, demonstrating his blood relationship to the founder of the dynasty. The successful compositional treatment combined with the significance of the message the cameo conveyed determined its subsequent fate: in the centuries that followed the features of the personages were reworked more than once to meet the needs of a new dynastic situation.

Title:

Cameo: Augustus, Livia and Young Nero

Place of creation:

Material:

Dimensions:

diameter: 8,3 cm

Acquisition date:

Originally in the Princes Yusupov collection

Inventory Number:

ГР-12537

Category:

Collection:

User collections including this work of art: