Photo Courtesy of Prof. John Pollini
Portrait statues left to right:
Uncertain identity of seated female figure, cuirassed statue of a Julio Claudian prince (Agrippa?); statue wearing a hip mantle and shown with a star carved in relief over the forehead (Divus Julius?) Female portrait characterized as venus genetrix by the tiny figure of cupid (sometimes identified as Livia?) Augustus wearing his hip mantle and corona civica and rayed crown, with his left foot on globe; he once held a sceptre in his raised hand; in his left is preserved traces of a thunderbolt.
Usually dated to the reign of Claudius (41-54 A.D.) Some think the reign of Caligula? (37-41 A.D.)
Height 1.04 m.
There were two marble fragments found from the Claudian period? that now reside at the Museo National in Ravenna Italy. It could have been an altar or other monument, it was found near or in the mausoleum of Galla Placidia in the sixteenth century. The fragment relief was meant to depict a dynastic statuary group from the Julio Claudian dynasty. Who were these figures and what did they represent?
This is the first public relief (monument) to show the imperial family in full portrait frontality. There were republican funerary monuments that showed full frontality, but not of the imperial family. We can clearly see Augustus as Mars (Far Right) idnetified by his hairstyle and pyhsiognomy Augustus is also wearing the “Corona Civicta”. (To the left) of Augustus we have Livia as Venus, Eros is on her left shoulder, and wearing a tiara. Her dress is based on Venus Genetrix of the fifth century B.C. (To the left) of Livia we have Germanicus, brother of Claudius. The figure to the left of Germanicus appears to be Drusus the elder, Patriae Claudiu. The seated figure on the (far left) has been identified as either Antonia (mother of Claudius or a representation of pietas.
Could it be the following:
Julio–Claudian apotheosis. Marble relief plaque depicting the apotheosis of the Julio–Claudian family, from Ravenna: front panel. From left to right: Drusus the Elder (?), Germanicus (?), Antonia (with Eros, indicating identification as Venus), Augustus (wearing corona civica, with attributes of Zeus). ca. 50 AD. Ravenna, Museo Nazionale.?
Andreae 1983, 54-56, 63, figs. 122-24, 126-30, showing the Ravenna relief
(fig. 8) at fig. 132; Andreae 1982, 203-6, fig. at p. 205; identical crown, dress slightly modified to the diva
type developed by Caligula for Drusilla (i.e., the triangular “apron”; see Rose 1987, s.v. Drusilla), but Amor here stands upon Antonia’s hand at hip level, leaning on her left shoulder and looking up in her face.
31. See pp. 33, 228 n. 92. The Venus: Gros 1976a, 162, 168; the Mars: Gros 1976a, 166-68; Zanker 1988, 199, 201-3, 347.
32. The problematic Belvedere and Vicus Sandaliarius altars are sometimes held to depict Venus. Belvedere altar: Fullerton 1985, 482; Zanker 1988, 222, s.v. fig. 17. Vicus Sandaliarius altar: Zanker 1988, 129, fig. 101; Rose 1987, cat. Rome 03; Hölscher 1984c, 27f.; p. 242 n. 126 and p. 247 n. 38 below (epiphany compositions). On both also Pollini 1987, 30f, nn. 65f; Zanker 1969, 209-10. The Belvedere female who watches a chariot apotheosis may be Venus, but Rose has convinced me that the Vicus Sandaliarius female is a human priestess rather than Ceres, Vesta, etc.
33. Fittschen 1976, 175-21O; Zanker 1988, fig. 178.
34. Zanker alone in 1969 noted the BR Venus, grouping it with the Temple of Mars Ultor pediment (fig. 9b), the Ravenna relief
(fig. 8), and the Belvedere altar “Venus,” not distinguishing between chiton and tunic figures.
35. The list in LIMC II (1984), s.v. “Aphrodite,” sec. 19.A.I.d, is too brief., like the rest of the Aphrodite section, it is arbitrary in citing Roman (Venus) types.
36. The tunicate Venus type was adapted on the Augustan “Actium relief” series now in Budapest for the figure of a goddess with cornucopia, baby, and slipped sleeve; Simon 1986, fig. 35.
37. Not adduced by Fittschen 1979. Fittschen’s important article established that the half-naked hero seen here, on the Algiers relief (fig. 6), on Augustan coinage is Divus Julius, quoted for Germanicus on the Ravenna relief
(fig. 8). This figure Fittschen and others attribute to the Temple of Divus Julius in the Forum; however, on coins of 37-34 B.C. that statue is visible in its temple as a figure capite velato
holding up a lituus
540/1-2; Kais. Aug.
1988, cat. 308 (Trillmich); Kent 1978, cat. 118; Simon 1986, fig. 108
38. Thus also the Venus to be restored on the Sorrento base cannot have had Amor on her shoulder, as he stands by Mars; see fig. 15b and p. 220 n. 13.
39. Zanker 1972, 9-10; Zanker 1988, 81, 97, 266, and figs. 62b (coin), 65 (terracotta antefix), 208 (lamp), 214 (bronze stand); Weinstock 1971, 50-51; Hölscher 1967, 9-17 (the BR cup at p. 9); Hölscher 1984a, 26; and Hölscher in Kais. Aug . 1988, 374 and figs. 170-72, s.v. cat. 207 (Campana plaque series from around Rome showing Augustus’ Victoria with a standard and Capricorns). Hölscher (1984a, 9-10) notes: “Sie . . . müssen eher als Ausdruck loyaler Gesinnung gewisser Privatpersonen gedeutet werden”; cf. also Zanker 1988, 265-78.