Caligula's Barge


From: Italy | Latium | Lake Nemi

Curatorial Section: Mediterranean

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Object Title Caligula's Barge
Object Number 2012-28-1
Current Location Collections Storage
Culture Imperial Roman
Provenience Italy | Latium | Lake Nemi
Date Made 1930-1949
Section Mediterranean
Materials Wood | Metal | Plaster | Fabric
Iconography Barge

Model / replica of Caligula's barge found 1895 at Lake Nemi, Latium, Italy; excavated 1927-1932, destroyed 1944. Model possibly made c. 1930-1940's and perhaps based on illustration by C. McKnight-Smith featured on the cover of Scientific American v. 95, no. 2 (July 14, 1906).

Barge (a) with currently detached/restorable dinghy (b) and landing staircase (c). Painted wood, metal, plaster, and fabric. From narrow bow (front) to wide stern (rear): Dragon-head (?) prow. Small square pavilion housing plaster statue. Medium-sized square pavilion with bronze statue, 2-3 additional statues around exterior. Midsection of ship with entrance on one or both sides, columns only preserved on one side. Flag pole with nets running to sides of ship. Monumental staircase covered by canopy leads to large rectangular pavilion. Small square pavilion at stern. Bank of 50+ oars on each side - most made by donor imitating the few original surviving oars. Parts of deck were reassembled and restored by donor.

Height 60 cm
Length 120 cm
Width 75 cm
Credit Line Gift of George Restrepo, 2012

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