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Grant number like: RZ-51221-10

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University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA 22903-4833)
Bernard D. Frischer (Project Director: November 2009 to November 2014)

Collaborative Research
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$180,000 (approved)
$157,419 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2010 – 6/30/2013

Creating a 'Total Environment' for the 'Caligula' in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Richmond, VA)

Study of a statue of the Roman emperor Caligula, as well as dissemination of the study's results through a conference and a website. (18 months)

An international team has the goal of increasing scholarly and public understanding of one of the most important works of Roman art in a US museum: the monumental statue of the Emperor Caligula in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The VMFA statue is the best-preserved surviving portrait of Caligula. The proposed project takes advantage of new discoveries throwing light on the statue's hitherto unknown ancient context as well as new technologies making it possible for the team to recover such key but uncertain features as the orientation of the head, which had been broken off the body; the hands, which are missing; and the colors, which can no longer be seen. We cannot understand the statue until these expressive features have been restored to it. The project will: (1) undertake new technical, historical, and interpretative studies of the statue; (2) present preliminary findings at a public conference; and (3) make the final results available at no cost over the Internet.