Sunday, 4 January 2009

Marcus Aurelius

Equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius
1465 Bronze, glazed and gilded, height 37 cm
Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden

What a splendid souvenir this one! Not exactly portable though. Along with the industrial production of sculptural models in eighteenth century Rome, there must have been a thriving haulage business to cope with the crates of milords' fancies sent back home.

A replica of the well-known equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius that Michaelangelo placed in the Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome. The antique sculpture had been cast around 161-180 AD. Marcus Aurelius' (121-80 AD) youthful face suggests it was intended to celebrate an early victory in his career, possibly the war against the Parthians in circa 161-166 AD. While some life-size casts were taken from the original bronze, the most common reproductions of this model are in small-scale and date from between the 16th and 19th centuries.

Here is the Monserrate Marcus Aurelius (rather fuzzy enlagement from 1929)

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