The Portraiture of Caligula in Right Profile-AR Denarii:

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The Portraiture of Caligula in Right Profile-AR Denarii:

Postby Joe Geranio on Sat Apr 22, 2006 6:58 pm

The Portraiture of Caligula in Right Profile- AR Denarii: The Imagery and Iconography http://portraitsofcaligula.com/page.php ... eous8&cp=1

By Joe Geranio
For all photos go to URL above.




For some time now I have been fascinated with the portraiture of Caligula in the round! He has typically been portrayed in the round (typology)1 , and his physiognomy. as follows, but first Most of these portraits are based upon official portraits, we can assume as Caligula (Princeps) wished to be portrayed some twelve to 30 sculptural likenesses of Caligula have survived,2 but these identifications can be quite subjective due to familial assimilation. Caligula’s characteristics typical are: Hair low on the nape of the neck, protruding upper lip, deeply set eyes, hollow temples, of course not apparent on profiles on coins, and a vertical or sloping forehead, unlike his father Germanicus which is vertical. The silver denarii which we are focusing on are all in right profile. Von kaenel the author of Munzpragung und Munzbildnis des Claudius, AMuGS9 (Berlin 1986), as well as an article on Caligula’s coinage, “Die Organisation der Caligulas.” RSN66 (1987). pp. 135-56. I disagree with some art historians as whether a portrait of a particular Princeps was copied from a portrait medallion, I believe it would have been a portrait in the round the die-engraver would have first been copied from. The right side from one portrait model from an imperial commission for precious metals and the left side for the bronzes.



















The silver denarii of Caligula shows the right profile (only) as having the hair low on the nape of the neck and begs the question what is the difference between the right and left profile iconographically to portraits in the round, and if we take Caligula’s right profile from the AE asses and Sestertii do they agree with exant portraits of Caligula in the round? von kaenel: The author of Munzpragungund Munzbildnis des Claudius, AMuGS9 (Berlin 1986) as well as an article on Caligula's coinage, "Die Organisation der Caligulas." RSN66 (1987), pp. 135-56, I am leaning heavily as von Kaenel, that there was some model in the round that a die-engraver would copy. It will take some time and I need to look at coinage of other Princeps, but if for example you look at the NY Glyptotek head of Caligula from Copenhagen in rt. profile it follows the hairstyle very closely.




Here is another example of the 5 curls and hair low on the nape of neck.







follows the Copenhagen head very closely. I am now starting to look at Aes and
will see the left profile and if there is any consistency. I am
looking to see if there may be a mint signature by either looking at
the rightt and left profiles? I do not agree with von Kaenel that that
the identification of Caligula's precious-metal mint has little
significance for the analysis of the emperor's portraits on coins.
From Kleiners Review of Boschung 3In the case of Caligula's portraits, Boschung was fortunate in having von kaenel as his partner. The author of Munzpragung
und Munzbildnis des Claudius, AMuGS9 (Berlin 1986) as well as an
article on Caligula's coinage, "Die Organisation der Caligulas." RSN
66 (1987), pp. 135-56, written at the same time as his Romische
Herrscherbild text. Von Kaenel's chapter in Die Bildnisse des
Caligula (pp.13-26) treats the official coinage ("Reichspragung")
exclusively. Other coins bearing the portraits of Caligula
(Provinzial-und Lokalpragung") are not examined. They are, in the
opinion of von kaenel (and I concur), more valuable as documents of
the "Rezeption" of imperial imagery in the provinces than as a means
of defining the official portrait types themselves (p.16) Gold,
silver, and aes coinage are, however, all studied. The portraits of
Caligula on the aureii and denarii are all in right profile; those on
the sestertii, dupondii, and asses are all in left profile. Von
Kaenel concludes that all of the imperial issues reproduce a single
official portrait type and that what variations exist are of a
stylistic and not of a typological nature. Furthermore, since the
two profile views are not mirror images, von Kaenel suggests that
they faithfully reproduce the left and right side respectively of a
single model in the round and he believes that the comparison with
marble replicas of Boschung's "Haupttypus" confirm that the same same
master "Vorbild" lies behind both the sculptured and numismatic
replicas. According to von Kaenel, the Roman die engravers were
provided with either a single head in the round to serve as a model
for their miniature profile portraits or with two seperate relief
portraits corresponding to the left and right sides of a sculptured
head of Caligula's " Haupttypus." This is an important observation
and it would be interesting to know if it is typical of Roman
numismatic portraiture for left- and right-facing portraits of the
same person to be rendered differently or whether the coinage of
Caligula is exceptional in not emplying mirror images. Whatever the
answer to the larger question, Caligula's coins unfortunatley cannot
be cited as incontrovertilble evidence that Roman die engravers had
models in the round from which some copied the left profile and
others the right profile. Von Kaenel assumes that the coins he has
collected and analyzed are almost exclusivley product of the imperial
mint at Rome, but there is a growing consensus that while Caligula's
aes issues were struck in the capital, the bulk if not all of his
gold and silver coinage was produced at Lugdunum (Lyons). (See, sot
recently, WE. Metcalf, "Rome and Lugdunum Again," AJN 1 [1989],pp. 51-
70.) The fact that Caligula's left and right profile portraits on
coins are different might mean that both mints worked from portrait
models of the same type- the selection of one profile or the other
could then be a kind of mint signature-but it could also indicate
that one portrait was copied in the capital and another one Gaul. I
therefore cannot agree with von Kaenel when he states (p.17 n.10)
that the identification of Caligula's precious-metal mint has little
significance for the analysis of the emperor's portraits on coins.
In the main section of Die Bildnisse des Caligula, Dietrich Boschung
discusses the portrait sculpture of the emperor and the relevant
literary and epigraphic evidence (pp. 27-103) and catalouges all
known Caligula portraits, both in the round and on gems, including
those refashioned as images of Claudius (pp. 105-24). Much of
Boschung's discussion falls outside the realm of a review in a
journal of numismatics (From F. Kleiners Review ANA)





Caligula Ny Glyptotek Frontal View (Photo Courtesy Rene Seindel)



The silver denarii of Caligula agree more with the Copenhagen head then any other head I have seen. The frontal view which can’t be seen on his coinage show the triangular face, and an impression type fold of the skin in the forehead. This is of course of little iconographical evidence for the Caligulan denarii unless we look at the all importrant right profile. Caligula’s hairstyle also has a nearly closed pincer above the right corner of the eye which is typical of his hairstyle. This to me is one of the finest portraits of Caligula in the round that is extant. If we start at the center and count the curls you will see the same 5 that exists on the silver denarii of Caligula.




another view (large frontal) of the five curls that agree with the Silver denarii of Caligula (Pollini photo)
The right profile of the Ny Glyptotek head of Caligula (Photo courtesy of Prof. John Pollini)

The all important right profile shows us that one side of the portrait in the round was copied by die-engravers for silver and gold, and I believe from the Copenhagen type.
1. For full typology of Caligula see The Portraiture of Caligula @ portraitsofcaligula.com under (Caligulapollini tab) Prof. John Pollini


2. Known Portraits of Caligula-Die
Bildnisse Des Caligula-D. Boschung: Go
to portraitsofcaligula.com (Types for Gaius tab for full list according to
Boschung.
3. F. Kleiners review of Die Bildnisse des Caligula
(American Journal of Numismatics 3-4 1992 pp.233-238


4. For similar iconographic evidence of Caligula see J. Geranio Portraits of
Caligula: The Seated Figure? Journal of the Society for Ancient
Numismatics Vol. XX, no.1 1997 pp.
23-30.












The Portraiture of Caligula in Right Profile- AR Denarii: The Imagery and Iconography


By Joe Geranio




For some time now I have been fascinated with the portraiture of Caligula in the round! He has typically been portrayed in the round (typology)1 , and his physiognomy. as follows, but first Most of these portraits are based upon official portraits, we can assume as Caligula (Princeps) wished to be portrayed some twelve to 30 sculptural likenesses of Caligula have survived,2 but these identifications can be quite subjective due to familial assimilation. Caligula’s characteristics typical are: Hair low on the nape of the neck, protruding upper lip, deeply set eyes, hollow temples, of course not apparent on profiles on coins, and a vertical or sloping forehead, unlike his father Germanicus which is vertical. The silver denarii which we are focusing on are all in right profile. Von kaenel the author of Munzpragung und Munzbildnis des Claudius, AMuGS9 (Berlin 1986), as well as an article on Caligula’s coinage, “Die Organisation der Caligulas.” RSN66 (1987). pp. 135-56. I disagree with some art historians as whether a portrait of a particular Princeps was copied from a portrait medallion, I believe it would have been a portrait in the round the die-engraver would have first been copied from. The right side from one portrait model from an imperial commission for precious metals and the left side for the bronzes.



















The silver denarii of Caligula shows the right profile (only) as having the hair low on the nape of the neck and begs the question what is the difference between the right and left profile iconographically to portraits in the round, and if we take Caligula’s right profile from the AE asses and Sestertii do they agree with exant portraits of Caligula in the round? von kaenel: The author of Munzpragungund Munzbildnis des Claudius, AMuGS9 (Berlin 1986) as well as an article on Caligula's coinage, "Die Organisation der Caligulas." RSN66 (1987), pp. 135-56, I am leaning heavily as von Kaenel, that there was some model in the round that a die-engraver would copy. It will take some time and I need to look at coinage of other Princeps, but if for example you look at the NY Glyptotek head of Caligula from Copenhagen in rt. profile it follows the hairstyle very closely.




Here is another example of the 5 curls and hair low on the nape of neck.







follows the Copenhagen head very closely. I am now starting to look at Aes and
will see the left profile and if there is any consistency. I am
looking to see if there may be a mint signature by either looking at
the rightt and left profiles? I do not agree with von Kaenel that that
the identification of Caligula's precious-metal mint has little
significance for the analysis of the emperor's portraits on coins.
From Kleiners Review of Boschung 3In the case of Caligula's portraits, Boschung was fortunate in having von kaenel as his partner. The author of Munzpragung
und Munzbildnis des Claudius, AMuGS9 (Berlin 1986) as well as an
article on Caligula's coinage, "Die Organisation der Caligulas." RSN
66 (1987), pp. 135-56, written at the same time as his Romische
Herrscherbild text. Von Kaenel's chapter in Die Bildnisse des
Caligula (pp.13-26) treats the official coinage ("Reichspragung")
exclusively. Other coins bearing the portraits of Caligula
(Provinzial-und Lokalpragung") are not examined. They are, in the
opinion of von kaenel (and I concur), more valuable as documents of
the "Rezeption" of imperial imagery in the provinces than as a means
of defining the official portrait types themselves (p.16) Gold,
silver, and aes coinage are, however, all studied. The portraits of
Caligula on the aureii and denarii are all in right profile; those on
the sestertii, dupondii, and asses are all in left profile. Von
Kaenel concludes that all of the imperial issues reproduce a single
official portrait type and that what variations exist are of a
stylistic and not of a typological nature. Furthermore, since the
two profile views are not mirror images, von Kaenel suggests that
they faithfully reproduce the left and right side respectively of a
single model in the round and he believes that the comparison with
marble replicas of Boschung's "Haupttypus" confirm that the same same
master "Vorbild" lies behind both the sculptured and numismatic
replicas. According to von Kaenel, the Roman die engravers were
provided with either a single head in the round to serve as a model
for their miniature profile portraits or with two seperate relief
portraits corresponding to the left and right sides of a sculptured
head of Caligula's " Haupttypus." This is an important observation
and it would be interesting to know if it is typical of Roman
numismatic portraiture for left- and right-facing portraits of the
same person to be rendered differently or whether the coinage of
Caligula is exceptional in not emplying mirror images. Whatever the
answer to the larger question, Caligula's coins unfortunatley cannot
be cited as incontrovertilble evidence that Roman die engravers had
models in the round from which some copied the left profile and
others the right profile. Von Kaenel assumes that the coins he has
collected and analyzed are almost exclusivley product of the imperial
mint at Rome, but there is a growing consensus that while Caligula's
aes issues were struck in the capital, the bulk if not all of his
gold and silver coinage was produced at Lugdunum (Lyons). (See, sot
recently, WE. Metcalf, "Rome and Lugdunum Again," AJN 1 [1989],pp. 51-
70.) The fact that Caligula's left and right profile portraits on
coins are different might mean that both mints worked from portrait
models of the same type- the selection of one profile or the other
could then be a kind of mint signature-but it could also indicate
that one portrait was copied in the capital and another one Gaul. I
therefore cannot agree with von Kaenel when he states (p.17 n.10)
that the identification of Caligula's precious-metal mint has little
significance for the analysis of the emperor's portraits on coins.
In the main section of Die Bildnisse des Caligula, Dietrich Boschung
discusses the portrait sculpture of the emperor and the relevant
literary and epigraphic evidence (pp. 27-103) and catalouges all
known Caligula portraits, both in the round and on gems, including
those refashioned as images of Claudius (pp. 105-24). Much of
Boschung's discussion falls outside the realm of a review in a
journal of numismatics (From F. Kleiners Review ANA)





Caligula Ny Glyptotek Frontal View (Photo Courtesy Rene Seindel)



The silver denarii of Caligula agree more with the Copenhagen head then any other head I have seen. The frontal view which can’t be seen on his coinage show the triangular face, and an impression type fold of the skin in the forehead. This is of course of little iconographical evidence for the Caligulan denarii unless we look at the all importrant right profile. Caligula’s hairstyle also has a nearly closed pincer above the right corner of the eye which is typical of his hairstyle. This to me is one of the finest portraits of Caligula in the round that is extant. If we start at the center and count the curls you will see the same 5 that exists on the silver denarii of Caligula.




another view (large frontal) of the five curls that agree with the Silver denarii of Caligula (Pollini photo)
The right profile of the Ny Glyptotek head of Caligula (Photo courtesy of Prof. John Pollini)

The all important right profile shows us that one side of the portrait in the round was copied by die-engravers for silver and gold, and I believe from the Copenhagen type.
1. For full typology of Caligula see The Portraiture of Caligula @ portraitsofcaligula.com under (Caligulapollini tab) Prof. John Pollini


2. Known Portraits of Caligula-Die
Bildnisse Des Caligula-D. Boschung: Go
to portraitsofcaligula.com (Types for Gaius tab for full list according to
Boschung.
3. F. Kleiners review of Die Bildnisse des Caligula
(American Journal of Numismatics 3-4 1992 pp.233-238


4. For similar iconographic evidence of Caligula see J. Geranio Portraits of
Caligula: The Seated Figure? Journal of the Society for Ancient
Numismatics Vol. XX, no.1 1997 pp.
23-30.




















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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Sun Apr 23, 2006 11:40 am

Salve

Most interesting. If there is a significance in the differences between the portraits and hair styles... something that may be related... there is a bronze of two togata (26x13.8 cm) in the J. Paul Getty Museum, 85.AB.109. It may interest you. Two men, the older man, on the right, has the hairstyle seen in portraits of Caligula, Claudius, and Nero, with curls low on the nape of the neck and brushed forward. He wears his toga in the style of the mid-first century, with the sinus draped low, just above the knee. The younger man on the left has the hair style of an earlier age and wears his toga in the fashion of the Augustan era, with the sinus above the waist and a drape from it falling below the waist. The juxtaposition of the two figures is assumed to represent something, but no one is certain what. It has been noted by Vermeule that the older man, with the later style, resembles portrait busts of Cicero, but the differences are enough not to make a positive identification. The younger man looks something like portraits of a young Augustus. The description of the bronze fragment compares it to some marble reliefs, noting that the two togata were once part of a larger display, possibly of a sacrificial scene. It sounds as though whatever the icongraphy of this bronze was intended to project could be related to that of the differences in the portraits you describe on the coins... I can't see any pictures you may have included.

Photos and a description of the bronze I have in The Gods Delight: The Human Figure in Clasical Bronze, organized by A. Kozloff and D. G. Mitten, with contributions from Cornelius Vermeule III, 1988, from the Cleveland Musum of Art.

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