Capitoline Museums Exhibition: The Many Faces of Power (until September 25, 2011)

The exhibition “The Many Faces of Power” is the second in a series of exhibitions organized under the nomer The Days of Rome (I Giorni di Roma), held in the Capitoline Museums.

As the title implies the exhibition deals with Roman portraits in all its forms and there are more than 150 items to be seen, from heads and busts to entire life-sized statues.

The period covered ranges from the late Republican age to late antiquity and many of the pieces themselves are on loan from some of the most prestigious European museums.

The portrait was, on the one hand, a way to show off one’s power (often by means of heroic and idealized reproductions of oneself) and on the other hand a sort of insurance against death. By having one’s portrait painted or sculpted one left something behind for posterity.

The various emporors therefore had themselves portraited in likenesses that showed off their own magnificence and power.

Sections of the exhibition include “From Mask to Portrait”, “Princes and Private Individuals as Gods”, “The Image Scheme”, “Female Hairstyles” and of course “The Face of the Powerful”.

The exhibition will last until September 25, 2011.

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