Europe's FathersAugustus and CharlemagneA small presentation
To commemorate the death of the Roman Emperor Augustus 2000 years and of Charlemagne 1200 years ago the Kunsthistorisches Museum is hosting a small presentation of unique masterpieces that illustrate the intellectual world of these two rulers, the splendour of their courts, and their seminal importance for European history.
The exhibition showcases two of the museum’s 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 was produced for Charlemagne; its purple-dyed parchment pages and gold letters make it one of the most important illuminated manuscripts in European art history. This unique artwork will be on show for the first time since 1954.