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"Rome and Jerusalem" Illustrations


Titus, engraving by unknown, after Aegidius Sadeler II, after Titian


To illustrate "Rome and Jerusalem" we decided to use "The Eleven Caesars" series of engravings by hand unknown, published in London by Thomas Bakewell, between 1700 and 1799 and placed in the public domain by the Wellcome Trust.

These engravings were themselves copies of the engravings by Aegidius Sadeler II’s (1570–1629), a Flemish engraver principally active at the Prague court of Rudolf II. They in turn were based on a series of painted half-length portraits of eleven Roman emperors made by Titian in 1536-1540 for Federico II, Duke of Mantua.

The imaginary portraits, inspired by the Lives of Caesars by Suetonius, were among Titian’s best-known works. The paintings were originally housed in a purpose-built room inside the Palazzo Ducale di Mantova. Bernardino Campi added a twelfth portrait in 1562. Between 1627 and 1628 the paintings were sold to Charles I of England by Vincenzo II Gonzaga in perhaps the single most famous collection acquisition in European history, and when the Royal Collection of Charles I was broken up and sold after his execution by the English Commonwealth, the Eleven Caesars passed in 1651 into the collection of Philip IV of Spain. They were all destroyed in a catastrophic fire at the Royal Alcazar of Madrid in 1734, and are now only known from copies and engravings.



Vespasian, engraving by unknown, after Aegidius Sadeler II, after Titian


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