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The Emperor Augustus
Marble. Ca. 1565
Bonanome, Giovanni Battista; Bonanome, Nicola
The Emperor Augustus
Marble. Ca. 1565
Bonanome, Giovanni Battista; Bonanome, Nicola

This impressive portrait of Augustus (27 BC to 14 AD) is by the Bonanome brothers, who were commissioned by Philip II in 1562 and 1565 to execute two series of busts of the first twelve Roman emperors, based on their biographies by Suetonius (c. 97-126 AD). This bust is from the small-format series, of which three survive. Philip II was dissatisfied with them and had them sent to the gardens of th

Gaius Julius Caesar
White marble. Ca. 1565
Bonanome, Giovanni Battista; Bonanome, Nicola
Gaius Julius Caesar
White marble. Ca. 1565
Bonanome, Giovanni Battista; Bonanome, Nicola

In 1562 and 1565 Philip II commissioned the Bonanome brothers to execute two series of busts of the twelve Roman emperors whose lives were recounted by Suetonius. In 1571 Philip had the busts sent to the gardens of the Casa de Campo in Madrid. The head of Caesar reflects the final portrait of him, dating from 44 AD (Turin, Museo Archeologico). The coloured marble bust is now missing.

The Emperor Caligula
Marble. Ca. 1565
Bonanome, Giovanni Battista; Bonanome, Nicola
The Emperor Caligula
Marble. Ca. 1565
Bonanome, Giovanni Battista; Bonanome, Nicola

This portrait head of Caligula (37 to 41 AD) is set into a tuff bust laminated with pieces of coloured marble to imitate a general’s armour and cloak, using a new technique of the time. It is one from the series of small-format busts of the Twelve Emperors commissioned by Philip II. White marble (head) and coloured marbles and tuff (bust)

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