Monday, April 10, 2006

Constantinian Colossi

Last week was 'culture week' in Italy, so a lot of museums and sites were free. I tried to take advantage and save some euros and grabbed a bunch of photos along the way, and thought I'd post some that ancient enthusiasts might enjoy. Since Dennis remarked on the apparent popularity of Constantine, I decided to post a couple colossals of the big C from the Capitoline Museums. First, the head from the giant statue originally in the apse of the Basilica Nova:

Next, possibly my favorite piece of ancient sculpture: the 'We're Number 1!' hand from the same statue.

Finally, an incredible bronze head, hand, and globe of Constantine. My museum guide says the following about it: 'Beginning in the mediaeval period, the precious remains of the sculpture depicting the first Christian emperor--the head, hand, and globe--were part of the patrimony of the patriarch's Lateran residence. In 1471, they went to the Capitoline Hill, as part of Sixtus IV's donation to the People of Rome. The large head, a masterpiece of antique bronze statuary, impressive both in the colossal scale and the intensity of the features, has been associated with portraits of Constantine during the last period of his life. The hand, intended to hold up a globe, symbol of the power over the world, is securely attributable to the statue.'

1 comment:

Stamatia said...

I've always rather thought that that bronze Constantine looked rather like Sylvester Stallone!