To commemorate the death of the Roman Emperor Augustus 2000 years and of Charlemagne 1200 years ago the exhibition presents unique masterpieces that illustrate the intellectual world of these two rulers, the splendour of their courts, and their seminal importance for European history. On show are two most iconic artworks: the Gemma Augustea and the Vienna Coronation Gospels.
Probably the most important extant cameo from classical antiquity and one that Augustus himself probably once owned and touched, the Gemma Augustea depicts him as Jupiter enthroned beside the goddess Roma. The Vienna Coronation Gospels with is purple parchment pages and gold letters was produced for Charlemagne. It is one of the most important illuminated manuscripts in European art history.
(Picture: Kunstkammer Wien / Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien)