The J. Paul Getty Museum

Portrait of Julius Caesar

Object Details


Portrait of Julius Caesar






Roman Empire (Place Created)


1st century B.C.–1st century A.D.



Object Number:



36.5 × 30 × 22.5 cm (14 3/8 × 11 13/16 × 8 7/8 in.)

See more

See less

Object Description

Fragmentary head of a male, made for insertion into a statue. The modeling of the sides, back, and top of the head is sketchy. The head was probably covered by drapery, indicating that the sitter was a sacrifiant. The sitter has been identified as Julius Caesar based on similarities to the so-called Tusculum portrait of Caesar, made shortly before or after his death. The face is damaged: the nose is missing, there is a large spall on the proper left cheekbone, there is a gouge on the chin, and the proper right eyebrow is chipped. Above the forehead on both sides are two small rounded indented protuberances (puntelli) that were not effaced when the piece was made.


Private Dealer (Rome, Italy)

by 1953 -
by 1954 -

Count Kurt Blücher von Wahlstatt, German, (Frankfurt, Germany)

- 1975

Bank Leu, A.G., sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1975.

Caesars and Citizens: Roman Portrait Sculpture from the J. Paul Getty Museum (April 26, 1981 to February 28, 1982)
  • Philbrook Museum of Art (Tulsa), April 26 to July 12, 1981
  • Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery (Austin), September 17 to December 6, 1981
  • Phoenix Art Museum (Phoenix), January 6 to February 28, 1982
Roman Portraits (March 1 to April 15, 1990)
  • Fisher Gallery, University of Southern California (Los Angeles), March 1 to April 15, 1990
Cleopatra of Egypt: from History to Myth (October 20, 2001 to March 3, 2002)
  • The Field Museum (Chicago), October 20, 2001 to March 3, 2002
Getty Museum loan to The Art Institute of Chicago (October 15, 2012 to October 1, 2024)
  • The Art Institute of Chicago, October 15, 2012 to October 1, 2024

Curtius, Ludwig. "Ein neues Bildnis des Julius Caesar," Robert Boehringer: Ein Freundesgabe. (Tubingen: J.C.B. Mohr, 1957), figs. 5, 7; pls. I-IV.

Borda, Maurizio, et al. Gaio Giulio Cesare (Rome: Istituto di studi romani, 1957), 58.

Herbig, Reinhard. "Neue Studien zur Ikonographie des Gaius Julius Caesar," Kölner Jahrbuch für Vor- und Frühgeschichte 4 (1959), pp. 9-10, pl. 5, 4.

Herbig, Reinhard. "Neue Studien zur Ikonographie des Gaius Iulius Caesar." Gymnasium 72 (1965), pp. 9-10, 12pls. xx.3; xxii.1.

Johansen, Flemming. "Antichi Ritratti di C. Giulio Cesare nella Scultura," Analecta Romana Instituti Danici 4 (1967), p. 54, no. 10.

Jantzen, Ulf. "Caesar Mattei," Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts. Römische Abteilung, 75 (1968) 170-173, 172.

Zimmermann, Konrad. "Bemerkungen zu einem verschollenen Malerei-Fragment." In Festschrift: Gottfried v. Lücken, vol. 2. Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift der Universität Rostock 17, heft 9/10 (1968), p. 807.

Poulsen, Vagn. Les portraits romains, I: Republique et dynastie Julienne (Copenhagen: Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, 2nd ed., 1973), 11.

Frel, Jiří. Recent Acquisitions of Antiquities: The J. Paul Getty Museum. June 1 - September 3, 1976. Exhibition brochure. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1976), pp. 2-3, no. 7.

Frel, Jiří. "Caesar." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal, 5 (1977). pp. 55-62, fig. 1.

Fredericksen, Burton B., Jiří Frel, and Gillian Wilson. Guidebook: The J. Paul Getty Museum. 4th ed. Sandra Morgan, ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978), pp. 57-59, ill.

Fredericksen, Burton B., Jiří Frel, and Gillian Wilson. The J. Paul Getty Museum Guidebook. 5th ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1980), p. 39, ill.

Frel, Jirí. In collaboration with Sandra Knudsen Morgan. Roman Portraits in the Getty Museum. Exh. cat. for "Caesars and Citizens," Philbrook Art Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma, April 26-July 12, 1981, pp. 18, 120, no. 6, ill.

Zanker, Paul. "Das Bildnis des M. Holconius Rufus," Archaeologischer Anzeiger (1981), p. 357, n. 27.

Chamay, Jacques, Jiřì Frel, and Jean-Louis Maier. Le monde des Césars: Portraits romains (Geneva: Musée d'art et d'histoire de Genève 1982), p. 51; pls. 4, 4a-b.

Johansen, Flemming S. "The Portraits in Marble of Gaius Julius Caesar: A Review," Ancient Portraits in the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1. Occasional Papers on Antiquities, 4 (1987), pp. 17-40, fig. 33.

Index der antiken Kunst und Architektur: Denkmäler des griechisch-römischen Altertums in der Photosammlung des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts Rom...Begleitband: Register und Kommentar. (New York : K.G. Saur, 1988), fiche 316, F01.

Pollini, John. Roman Portraiture: Images of Character and Virtue, exhibition cat., Fisher Gallery, University of Southern California (Los Angeles, 1990), pp. 20-21, cat. no. 4 (Charlene D. Shang).

Fittschen, Klaus, Paul Zanker, and Petra Cain. Katalog der römischen Porträts in den Capitolinischen Museen und den anderen kommunalen Sammlungen der Stadt Rom, II: Die männlichen Privatporträts (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2010), p. 2n6.

Stewart, Peter. A Catalogue of the Sculpture Collection at Wilton House. Oxford: Archaeopress, 2020, 128, fn.4.