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Cameo Portraying Emperor Claudius as Jupiter

A work made of cameo: sardonyx
mount: gold, pearls, and enamel.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of cameo: sardonyx
mount: gold, pearls, and enamel.

Date:

Cameo: Roman, mid-first century
Mount: Italian, late 16th century

Artist:

Roman; Italy

About this artwork

This intricate cameo is carved from a piece of sardonyx, a mineral composed of parallel colored bands. The figure at the center is depicted with the portrait head of an emperor from the Julio-Claudian dynasty (27 BCE–68 CE) and the idealized, partially nude body of the supreme deity Jupiter (the Greek god Zeus). He holds the god’s scepter and thunderbolt while an eagle, Jupiter’s companion animal, perches at his feet. Created for circulation among members of the imperial court, the cameo boldly equated the ruler’s power over the Roman Empire to that of Jupiter over the entire cosmos.

Status

On View, Gallery 153

Department

Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium

Culture

Ancient Roman

Title

Cameo Portraying Emperor Claudius as Jupiter

Place

Italy (Object made in)

Date

41 CE–54 CE

Medium

Cameo: sardonyx Mount: gold, pearls, and enamel

Dimensions

7.6 × 5.7 × 0.8 cm (3 × 2 1/4 × 5/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Marilynn B. Alsdorf

Reference Number

1991.375

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/111809/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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