Julius Caesar

Artist: Workshop of Colin Nouailher (French, active 1539, d. after 1571)

Date: probably ca. 1541

Culture: French, Limoges

Medium: Painted enamel on copper, partly gilt

Dimensions: Diameter (without frame): 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm);
Diameter (with frame): 14 7/8 in. (37.8 cm)

Classification: Enamels-Painted

Credit Line: Gift of V. Everit Macy, 1928

Accession Number: 28.217.2a, b


This portrait of Julius Caesar is part of a series depicting the Nine Worthies, historical figures thought to embody the values of chivalry—from antiquity: Hector, Alexander, and Julius Caesar; from the Old Testament: Joshua, David, and Judas Maccabeus; and from the Middle Ages: King Arthur, Charlemagne, and Godefroy de Bouillon. The Nine Worthies were first extolled as exemplars of the chivalric code by Jacques de Longuyon, in his romance Les Voeux du Paon (The Vows of the Peacock, ca. 1312), and thereafter became a popular subject in French literature and art.