My visit to Christie's New York to look at the sculpture sale proved eye-opening in many ways. I had a good look at the pair of Caesars that were the real reason for my going. That's one of them above, looking rather grander in the picture than in real life. And I think I got a bit closer to the bottom of them. The sale catalgue tentatively identified him as Otho, but I am pretty certain that he is meant to be Domitian.
He derives ultimately from Sadeler's engravings of the 11 Caesars (later made up to canonical 12) that Titian did for the Gonzaga family at Mantua -- or, of course, from the Titian originals which were completely destroyed in a fire, having fetched up in Spain, in the eighteenth century (so Sadeler's engravings are our best guide). And although it is hard to be sure, Sadeler's Otho doesn't have a laurel wreath while his Domitian does, and he also has rather similar foliage on his breastplate, as well as a diagonal band across his chest. The closest match for this guy is actually in the Netherlands -- another Titian/Sadeler-inspired Domitian, in lead this time, now in the Rijksmuseum, which you can see here.
What interests me in all this is not so much the (mis)identifications, though I do intend to reflect on the floating identities of the Caesars through time. I'm keen to explore the way the same basic images (in this case Titian's original lost paintings) get replicated in different media: from painting to engraving to sculpture and sometimes to paintig again. So this will be a prime example for the book later.
But there was plenty of other things to look at too both in the sculpture sale and in some of the other sales currently on view.