Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve updated – life has rather overtaken me.
For this entry, I thought I’d share a few of the photographs of Roman and Hellenistic sculpture I’ve taken over the years in various museums in Rome. I’ll start with my favourite…
This is the original equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, housed in the Capitoline Museums. It only survives because it was thought for a long time to be the Christian emperor Constantine. I like it because he looks so benevolent! A replica now stands in the Piazza del Campidoglio.
I’m very pleased with this photo I took of a bust of Paris in the small museum on the Palatine Hill a couple of years ago. He looks very pensive , and though this photo makes it look big, the sculpture is actually quite petite.
Next we have something really interesting: a statue which still has traces of gilding and paint on it. This gives us an impression of how statues would originally have looked in antiquity. Though there is undoubtedly something romantic about a pure white marble statue, they would originally have looked a lot more realistic – as you can see with the eyes painted on, for example. I like the contrast in this photo between the red and gold on the statue and the green background.
The next photo shows the most famous frieze from the Ara Pacis – Augustus’ Altar of Peace. The iconography of this monument is complex, but overall it was designed to show Augustus’ reign as heralding a new era of peace and prosperity. Here the imperial family is shown as the model of traditional family values – and fertility (note the children are shown, demonstrating that there would be heirs to Augustus who would continue his work).
This last photo is of the bronze statue known as the Terme Ruler. There has been much debate over the age of the statue and who it depicts; some have argued that it is a victorious Roman general shown in heroic nudity in the style of a Hellenistic king, while others (and I believe this is the generally accepted opinion) believe that it is actually a Hellenistic king. Either way, it ended up in Rome and it has graffiti on its rear which appears to indicate that it was imported. That’s about all I can remember about it for now!