The Silver Caesars: A Renaissance Mystery

Siemon, Julia, ed. with essays by Ellenor Alcorn, Mary Beard, Michèle Bimbenet-Privat, Linda Borsch, Federico Carò, Antonella Fabriani Rojas, Wolfram Koeppe, Xavier F. Salomon, Timothy Schroder, Julia Siemon, Stefanie Walker, and Mark T. Wypyski (2017)

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The Silver Caesars: A Renaissance Mystery
December 12, 2017–March 11, 2018

The Silver Caesars: A Renaissance Mystery, opening at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on December 12, will be dedicated to the extraordinary set of 12 silver-gilt standing cups known collectively as the Aldobrandini Tazze. In the exhibition the Tazze will be reunited and displayed together for the first time since the mid-19th century, when the objects were disassembled and dispersed, their constituent parts misidentified and mismatched. Properly reassembled, the Tazze bring to life the history of the first twelve Caesars, as recounted by the Roman historian Suetonius. Each stands over a foot high, and is comprised of a shallow footed dish surmounted by the figure of one of the Caesars; four scenes from Suetonius’s Life of the relevant ruler appear intricately wrought upon the concave interior of each dish. The exhibition will thus provide visitors with a rare opportunity to appreciate one of the finest and most enigmatic monuments of 16th-century goldsmiths’ work.