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Green Caesar & Cleopatra in the Altes Museum on Museumsinsel, Berlin

The Altes Museum was the first of the five museums on Museumsinsel to have been constructed. Built for King Frederick William III of Prussia, by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, to house the Prussian royal family’s collection of ancient artefacts. One of these objects was of the so-called ‘Green Caesar’ portrait of Gaius Julius Caesar. Another portrait acquired by the museum much more recently is of Cleopatra VII. A legendary love story between two equally notable figures from Classical antiquity.

Some History

Green Caesar Altesmuseum Berlin
Green slate portrait of Caesar.
Cleopatra Altesmuseum Berlin
Marble portrait of Cleopatra VII.

Green Caesar

Marble Portrait of Cleopatra

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Altes Museum, Museumsinsel

Built in the 1820s, Berlin’s Altes Museum, or the ‘Old Museum’, was the first of the five museums to be constructed on Museumsinsel. Still today it is considered one of the most important Neoclassical buildings in the city. A fitting context for the state’s Collection of Classical Antiquities, which includes numerous Greek, Etruscan and Roman objects ranging from the 10th century BC to the 3rd century AD. Also on display are some 1,300 antique coins from the Numismatic Collection.

Archaeology Travel Writer

Thomas Dowson

With a professional background in archaeology and a passion for travel, I founded Archaeology Travel to help more people explore our world’s fascinating pasts. Born in Zambia, I trained as an archaeologist at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) and taught archaeology at the universities of Southampton and Manchester (England). Read More

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