Emperors in Yale
I have just had an amazing few days in Yale. I have given a big lecture in honour of Michael Rostovtzeff, including going to his grave in the local cemetery (where there was another Scipio Barbatus tomb replica, for those interested).
But of course I had my eyes open for emperors.
That was where my visit to the the Yale Art Gallery and the Yale Center of British Art came in. Both these collections are amazing (and it is eye-opening to see British art from a half external perspective -- that is one of the things that the Yale Centre gives you).
But my eyes were predictably focussing on emperors (and their female counterparts). So it was fun to see the Yale version of Benjamin West's "Agrippina with the Ashes of Germanicus".
and especially Gérome's Colosseum (at the top). I had seen this before, and had realised that the emperors face was modelled after the Grimani Vitellius .
But I hadn't quite realised how curious it all was. For a start, the name of Vitellius is actually inscribed in the painting under his box. But if we are in the Colosseum (which we are -- and indeed this is where the movie Gladiator got its inspiration), then it wasnt built for another 20 years.
So this is another anachronic emperor to go into the book.