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    Ground view of the National Gallery's glass pyramids looking towards the East Building

    Research Reports

    Keauna Brantley
    Center 43

    Keauna Brantley

    Depictions of Power: Coinage and Caricature 

    For centuries Roman imperial portraiture set the standard for how depictions of powerful figures were disseminated to the public. As such, departures from, as well as alignments with, this style of portraiture communicate a multitude of messages concerning the use of visual imagery in relation to contemporary political spheres.

    For my tour, I focused on bronze works by Antonio “Filarete” Averlino (c. 1400–c. 1469), Pisanello (c. 1395–1455), and Honoré Daumier (1808–1879) to connect depictions of public figures from the Italian Renaissance to those of the French Revolution. The progression of my objects, from Filarete’s likeness of the Roman emperor Nero to Pisanello’s portrait of the 15th-century patron Leonello d’Este, and, finally, Daumier’s caricatures of members of the 19th-century French political landscape, illustrates how the birth of the individual progressed over time in Europe.

    Afro-American Studies major and Political Science minor, Howard University
    Howard University Undergraduate Intern, 2022–2024

    Pisanello, Leonello d'Este, 1407-1450, Marquess of Ferrara 1441 [obverse], 1444, bronze, Samuel H. Kress Collection, 1957.14.602.a