The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 18, 2018

Julius Caesar, c. 1455-1460

marble with traces of bole (red clay) and limestone with traces of paint, Overall: 83 x 84 x 25 cm (32 5/8 x 33 1/16 x 9 13/16 in.). John L. Severance Fund 2009.271

The Roman emperor Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) appears here as a political rather than military leader, worn by the burdens of office, with carefully described signs of aging . Mino probably used ancient coins from the collection of the Medici, Florence's ruling family, as his starting point for this sculpture. However, the complex carving, the clinging drapery, and the psychological intensity all characterize the inventiveness Renaissance artists brought to classical subject matter. In this case, Caesar offered an important model for leadership, masculinity, and composure.

The garland is clearly by a different hand, but passages, such as the ribbons and flowers in low relief, correspond to details found in other decorative carvings from Mino's workshop. Initially, the limestone setting was probably put into a wall, perhaps in a lunette over the door, from which it was later removed. However, the relationship between the garland and the relief has not yet been clarified and is the subject of ongoing research.

Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy (3/21/2013 - 8/18/2013) and Musée du Louvre, Paris, France (9/23/2013 - 1/8/2014): "The Springtime of the Renaissance: Sculpture and the Arts in Florence", ex. cat. no. X.6, p. 484-485.

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