What do we know about Roman Emperors, and how do we know what we know? Are there disparities between official historical accounts and the reputation bestowed upon them through centuries of cultural imagination and storytelling? How did Caligula, Nero, and Commodus become the poster boys for megalomania, for instance?
These intriguing questions are raised in this fascinating exhibition which examines how the image of historical figures becomes coined in the public consciousness. By bringing together thousands of coins from the holdings of the Coin Cabinet that bear the faces of antiquity's rulers, we are prompted to critically examine the clichés, myths, and anecdotes that have proliferated throughout history.
Visitors can study all the artifacts on-show using an interactive stele that provides detailed information and allows you to view the coins' obverse and reverse, as well as to enlarge them. 3D enlargements of selected coin portraits will also be displayed to allow for further examination.
Collecting precious things – it's one of the many benefits afforded to royalty, and was a particularly favored hobby in the House of Habsburg. Now, their shiny trinkets and priceless masterpieces are yours to enjoy at Vienna's Kunsthistorisches Museum.
Skip the line and take a guided look around two of the museum's key exhibitions. Wander in a world of art icons within the Picture Gallery, and see works by the likes of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Rembrandt, and Caravaggio.
You'll also be escorted around the Kunstkammer for a look at some of the Habsburg collection's rarest and strangest pieces. See hundreds of precious stone vessels, stunning statuettes and other ornate works of ivory, bronze and gold – it's an Aladdin's cave of fine art!
Once the tour is over, you're free to explore the rest of the museum's exhibits, including those devoted to ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities.
Marvel at masterpieces in Vienna's answer to the Louvre
Dive into two rich cultural highlights from the mighty Austrian Empire
Tickets for Kunsthistorisches Museum Highlight Tour: Picture Gallery & Kunstkammer