J. M. W. Turner - Caligula’s Palace and Bridge 1831

Caligula’s Palace and Bridge 1831
Caligula’s Palace and Bridge
1831 137x246 oil/canvas
Tate Britain

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From Tate Britain:
The subject of this painting is an episode from Suetonius’s ‘Life’ of the Emperor Caligula. Confounding a prediction that he would no more become emperor than ride across the Gulf of Baiae with horses, Caligula constructed an artificial floating bridge of boats which he then crossed with a chariot. Following popular accounts, Turner has depicted the bridge as a solid construction. It has, however, like the adjacent palace, fallen into ruin and decay.