Augustus; Tiberius; Caligula; Claudius; Nero. 🖼️ Print available here.

Appearance of The Principate [Pt. I]

27 BC–68 AD: The Julio-Claudian dynasty

Using the neural-net tool Artbreeder, Photoshop and historical references, I have created photoreal depictions of Roman Emperors. Scroll down to see each emperor.

ON CREATIVE COMMONS & COPYRIGHT: Faces can be shared Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike at 200 pixels max height for non-watermarked OR 512 pixels with the digital mosaic watermark. Please link back to this page. Continuation of this project depends on prints, licensing and commissions.

**CONCISE UPDATE (July 31st) replacing a July 27th CLARIFICATION: ‘TheApricity’, a tertiary source, has been removed entirely. I knew it to be unreliable prior to starting this project but kept here for posterity and debate. It is now clear to me they have distorted primary and secondary sources to push a pernicious white supremacist agenda. I am instead quoting Davide Cocci who has provided, what I believe to be, a more reliable translation.

A primary Greek text by John Malalas has also been removed. Only three Emperors (in Part II) are impacted by these changes.

Augustus (v1): ↖️ The Prima Porta (CC BY-SA 2.5); ↗️ Pergamum Museum (CC BY-SA 4.0); ↙️ Labicana; ↘️ British Museum
Augustus (v2): Aged. Hair appears slightly darker. Same bust references.


27 BC — 19 AD (Died age 75 — Natural Causes)

Great-nephew and adopted son of Julius Caesar

  • Born: Rome, Italy
Tiberius: ↖️ Carlsberg Glyptotek; ↗️ Royal Ontario Museum; ↙️Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli ↘️ Museo Nazionale Napoli; Also: “The Lansdowne”


14–37 (Died aged 75 — Probably natural causes, possibly assassinated by Caligula or praetorian prefect)

Mother: Livia Drusilla, Augustus’ third wife, by a previous marriage

  • Born: Rome, Italy
Caligula (v1): Met Gallery Also: New Carlsberg Gylototek
Caligula (v2): Previously used bust with greatest craftsmanship (↙️ Met Gallery), now depiction weighted to bust with most disfigurement. ↖️ Louvre bust as primary reference. ↗️ New Carlsberg Gylototek for skin tone. Asymetrical eye consistent with ↘️ Museum of Rome bust.
Caligula (v2.1): No longer referencing Met Gallery bust. Depiction weighted to busts with asymetrical eyes ↖️ Louvre; ↙️ Worchester Art Gallery; ↘️ Museum of Rome bust. ↗️ New Carlsberg Gylototek for skin tone and hair colour.


37–41 (Died age 28 — Assassinated in a conspiracy involving senators and Praetorian Guards)

Father: Germanicus

Great-Grandfather: Augustus

Other Family: Great-nephew and adoptive grandson of Tiberius

  • Born: Antium, Italia
Claudius: ↖️ Naples National Archaeological Museum; ↗️ Vatican Museum; ↙️ Museum Chiaramonti (51–54 AD); ↘️ National Archaeological Museum of Spain


41–54 (Died age 63 — Probably poisoned by his wife Agrippina the Younger, in favour of her son Nero, possibly natural causes)

Brother: Germanicus

Other Family: Uncle of Caligula; nephew of Tiberius; Great-nephew and step-grandson of Augustus

  • Born: Lugdunum, Gallia Lugdunensis (north/central France)
Nero (v1): ↖️ Musei Capitolini Rome; ↗️ Glyptothek Munich; ↙️ Uffizi Gallery, Florence; ↘️ Peter Paul Rubens
Nero (v2): Neck-beard hair on ↖️ Musei Capitolini Rome bust was incorrectly registering as a strong jawline. this has been fixed.


54–68 (Died age 30 — Committed suicide after being declared a public enemy by the Senate)

Great-nephew, stepson, son-in-law and adopted son of Claudius; nephew of Caligula; great-great-nephew of Tiberius; grandson of Germanicus; great-great-grandson of Augustus

  • Born: Antium, Italia (50 km south of Rome)


This is a quarantine project by Daniel Voshart. 🖼️ Prints available here.

Design | Cinematography | Criticism

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