Brutus, the Assassin and Son of Caesar

This sculptural profile drawing depicts Brutus, whom Lequeu’s inscription describes in terms of his role in the assassination of his adopted father Julius Caesar. Identified by Lequeu as the “first emperor,” Caesar was proclaimed dictator for life in February of 44 BCE but was murdered soon after by senators who felt such a move threatened the the Roman republic. Revolutionaries in France celebrated Brutus as a virtuous republican who put his convictions in support of the state ahead of his love for his father.

Jean-Jacques Lequeu (1757–1826)
Brutus, the Assassin and Son of Caesar, ca. 1792
Pen and black ink, black and gray wash
Bibliothèque nationale de France, Departement des Estampes et de la photographie