Portraits of Emperor Claudius  


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Claudius was

Preceded by (and uncle of) Caligula

Succeeded by Nero

Son of Drusus the Elder and Antonia the Younger

Grandson of Mark Antony and Octavia

Father of Claudia Octavia

  Photos by William Storage & Laura Maish
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  Born Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus on August 1, 10 BC. Became Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus upon his accession on January 24, 41. Died October 13, 54 CE.


1-3: Quercia corona style head of Claudius. Naples Archaeological Museum inv. 6060.

4-6: Claudius as divus, slightly larger than life. The head is obviously not related to the torso, which is likely that of Augustus. Excavated in 1846 from Caere. From a group of about ten portraits . Vatican Inv. 9950.

7-9: Claudius recut from Caligula. Centrale Montemartini inv. 2443. The right side of this head (not shown here) has the most obvious remnants of Caligula's hair style. Remnants of Caligula's hair curls on the back of his neck are clearly visible (Varner, 2004, p.26).

10-12: Claudius as Jupiter from Lanuvium. Vatican inv. 243.

15,16: Head of a statue reworked into a bust. Vatican inv. 2287. Probably from the forum at Privernum. Found in 1796 along with a related portrait of Tiberius (Vat. inv. 1511)

17-19: Colossal head of Claudius recut from Caligula. Vatican Inv. 242. Head .78 m. high. Found in excavations of Ocriculum around 1780.




Eric R. Varner, Mutilation and Transformation: Damnatio Memoriae and Roman Imperial Portraiture, Brill, 2004.

Charles Brian Rose. Dynastic Commemoration and Imperial Portraiture in the Julio-Claudian Period (Cambridge Studies in Classical Art and Iconography), Cambridge University Press, 1997. ISBN-13: 978-0521453820.

Diana E. E. Kleiner. Roman Sculpture (Yale Publications in the History of Art) (1994). ISBN-13: 978-0300059489.


Copyright 2006 William Storage. Updated  6/8/2008
Keywords: Rome