A principal player during Rome's troubled transition from Republic to Principate, Julius Caesar (100 - 44 BC), the first dictator and the undisputed architect of the greatness of the future Roman Empire, was an exceptional character - senator, general, orator, author and statesman of such foresight that even during his lifetime he began to create his own myth. He presented himself as a descendant of Venus - thus associating himself to Aeneas, her son and the mythic founder of the city of Rome itself - and in doing so gave life to a self-legitimizing ancestry writ poetically decades later in Virgil's Aeneid.
Curated by Giovanni Gentile, the exhibition follows the not-always-parallel paths of Caesar the historical figure and Caesar the myth. Archeological documents on loan from major Italian museums, reconstructed plastic models representing Rome during Caesar's rule, examples of figurative art from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance and onwards to Neoclassicism and beyond, up to the very early decades of the 20th century highlight the growth and change of the world's understanding and reverence of the man. The most recent tastes for the myth of Caesar are embodied in the exhibition's costumes and scenery from motion pictures filmed at Rome's Cinecitta studios.
Chiostro del Bramante Web Site
Please click here for a Culturekiosque feature and pictures review of the British Museum's Hadrian Exhibition.