The bronze sculpture depicts the emperor Marcus Aurelius on horseback. Situated in 1539 by Michelangelo, in Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome it becomes the reference point of that place. The statue was then replaced by a copy while the original statue is kept in the facing Palazzo dei Conservatori.
The central themes of the work are power and divine grandeur, with the emperor depicted in real size and the outstretched arm. In this case the gesture can be understood as an act of clemency: this theory makes use of the testimony of some medieval writings that speak of a barbarian prisoner at the foot of the statue, which has not survived. This pose shows the emperor as a god and conqueror. However the absence of arms and armour gives a feeling of peace, a peace perhaps linked to prosperity during his reign. Another theory hypothesizes that in the hand there was previously a scroll of parchment, disappeared during the medieval period.
To request info for this item please use the following form