— 20 May 2024
The inside story
In this unique premiere, the alliance of lenders spanning Italy, the Netherlands and Germany, enabled us to give everyone a much deeper insight into Julius Caesar. Including what he may have looked like through three different bust portraits. Yet his story goes way beyond this famous visage.
The H’ART Museum retrospective of Julius Caesar (101 or 100 – 44 BCE), a historical legend, is told in nine scenes. And it all begins with the mythmaking that shaped the image we have of him today. His career, from brilliant politician to consul of Rome.
Next, we explore a different and darker world, that of Caesar’s war in Gaul which illustrates his career as an army general and delves into what we now know as the ‘war crimes’ it is believed he committed. We look at whether Caesar’s troops may have fought on Dutch soil, particularly relevant for this Amsterdam exhibition setting.
Just how luxurious was Rome in Caesar’s day? In another room discover a little of the scenes and sights you may have experienced 1000s of years ago.
After that, the focus is on Cleopatra and Egypt—a strategic and political affair or true love story? Either way they became the ultimate power couple and had a son Caesarion (little Caesar).
The murder of Caesar is unraveled as a plot, in the next chapter, from the portents of doom to his infamous downfall and murder. Then, we move onto Caesar’s successor: Augustus.
Lastly, there is a look at his legacy and a closing scene in which Caesar’s character, and a summary of his acts, are written out clearly for the final verdicts to be made.
How is the world still inspired by the ripples his rule made today? We want people to decide for themselves by the end of this exhibition—exactly who Julius Caesar is to them.
Collection is organised in collaboration with the Expona (Bolzano) and Contemporanea Progetti (Florence) as well as other top museums including the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Florence, the Museo Nazionale Romano in Rome, and the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden along with other museums in the Netherlands and Germany.
The curators of the H’ART Museum, Birgit Boelens and Natascha Wieman–Heijne MA, have created the exhibition along with guest curator Professor Doctor Eric Moormann, emeritus professor of classical archaeology at the Radboud University in Nijmegen. Anika Ohlerich of Archetypisch provided our contemporary exhibition design and Marline Bakker of Glamcult Studio the graphic design.