Project requested by: TrizNation, 52TheatreGirl, Jessie Kay, Boffa994, & Huntresskrystle
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(b.August 31,12 AD - d. January 24, 41AD)
The first Roman emperor to be assassinated, as Caligula's endless push for absolute power threatened the Roman Senate's very existence. Caligula's reign lasted barely four years.
ARTIST NOTES: One of the few things worse than hardly having any images at all of a subject is having FAR TOO MANY, as there is absolutely no way to get every statue, painting, or sculpture to agree completely with one another in their features. Such was the case with Caligula. The reason that the face changes so dramatically multiple times is that even after starting a portrait, I continue to research the subject and make changes as more information comes into focus. Sometimes also, for reasons yet to be discovered, some faces are just more difficult than others to build. Most of the hints and clues to Caligula's appearance came from details shared among different versions of his own sculptures and from details picked up from the marble busts of family members.
Hair and eye color: Naturally, marble busts are not as forthcoming about such features as might be. I am aware of the colorized bust with brown hair and eyes which resembles a cheesy action figure. Caligula's hair color didn't seem to cause much comment from historians (Neither extremely dark or extremely light) which may lend one to think that his hair was unremarkable, average, or "medium" shaded. Blue eyes, however, are definitely in the family line as his great grandfather Emperor Augustus was confirmed to have had blue eyes. I ultimately created a composite color scheme which mixed the theoretical with the traditional notions of Caligula's coloring. Yes, I am also aware of the often-depicted BLONDE Caligula of "I, Claudius" fame (noted, this reconstruction started out with a blonde prototype).
Determining ANY features is also made trickier by the ancient Roman's habit of associating prominent personality traits with physical symbols (i.e. Caligula was described as having a wide forehead and hairy body like that of a goat which in folklore at that time was associated all at once with treachery, greed, and sexual depravity: all things which Caligula was allegedly known for). So, in the midst of all this ideology, Greek & Roman historical physical descriptions need to be referred to with caution as they were more used to shape the character or reputation of an individual more than their actual physical presence.