Triumph of Julius Caesar
Tempera and gold with traces of silver on wood.
Overall: 16 x 60 1/2 in. (40.6 x 153.7 cm)
This panel was once part of a "cassone," a chest usually made as one of a pair for a wedding. It was on the sides of these chests that secular narrative painting first appeared in fifteenth-century Florence. This work was first attributed to Dello Delli (c. 1404-1469) in 1811 by the collector and scholar Alexis François de Artaud de Montor, and purchased by Thomas Jefferson Bryan in 1851 from the sale of his collection in Paris. The panel was considered to be by Dello until 1915, after which it was attributed to several different anonymous masters. Today it is thought to be by Giovanni di Ser Giovanni, called Lo Scheggia, the younger brother of Massacio (1401-1428?), and artists in his shop. The painting represents a Roman celebratory pageant or parade, called a triumph, after one of Caesar's successful military campaigns. The artist was influenced more by contemporary triumphs than by historical descriptions. Julius Caesar rides on the triumphal car at the left. Many of the remaining figures wear contemporary clothing. The lavish procession is depicted entering through the gates of Rome at the right with its war booty. The elaborately tooled and gilded surfaces are left over from the International Gothic style and add to the decorative effect. It was also once decorated with silver, which has disappeared leaving the adhesive red bole visible.
Olson, Roberta J. M. "A selection of European paintings and objects." The Magazine Antiques 167 (2005): 182-187.
Gift of Thomas Jefferson Bryan
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.