Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius. A wonderful work in Bronze.

Bronze is wonder stuff to work with and can be made into the most fantastic of sculptures. One of the greatest of these is the Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius. Basically, it’s one of the greatest Roman Emperors ever looking powerful on a horse. To give you a clue as to which one he is he’s the one in Gladiator played by Richard Harris the Dad of Commodus. The Statue you see in Rome is now on the del Campidoglio is a replica but the real one is still with us and sat in the Capitoline Museum. It used to be on the Capitoline Hill in a place of great prominence, such was Marcus Aurelius stature. It’s a stunning piece of work and shows how easy Bronze is to work with and how advanced the Roman were with their techniques. If you’re thinking of the something similar but a little less grand then a Bronze Horse Sculpture by http://www.gillparker.com/ could be the answer. Gill works with bronze to create some fantastic pieces. Let’s have a look back the Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius to see how the Romans did it first.

The statue is huge. It stands at just less than 14ft tall. It features Marcus Aurelius sat atop a great charger of a horse in mid majestic trot. Marcus Aurelius is seen looking to the right and has his arm extended out as if reaching or gesturing. He has no stirrups, because they didn’t have knowledge of them and he also has no weapons nor is he wearing any armor. This is puzzling as he was rarely in Rome during his reign expanding the Empire at the expense of the Germanic tribes. There is some evidence for the statue, and from written evidence in medieval times, that there was a crushed barbarian warlord at the horse’s hooves. The idea being that the Emperor has trampling his cowering enemy into submission. This would be at odds with the Statue’s lack of weapons and war gear. The interpretation of this is that the Emperor saw himself as a peace bringer, which is true in a way because there was no trouble from the Germanic tribes for years until Attila the Hun turns up.

The other thought is that the statue was made in praise of the Emperor s victory over the troublesome Sarmatians, A cloak of Sarmatian make is on the statue and Marcus Aurelius soon added the name Sarmaticus soon after. Rome Emperors often did this to show off when they had had a big win.  We are very luck to still have it. Most Bronze statues were melted down to make coins. The Empires fortunes were not so good by that stage.

 

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