Sunday, December 8, 2013


About 180/196 for Commodus (180/192) son of Marcus Aurelius (161/180)
Built in Carrara marble, 29.6 m (97 feet) high. It is 42 m (138 feet) high including the base
 Inside there is a spiral staircase with 190 steps
115 DIFFERENT SCENES one after the other as if in a scroll to celebrate Marcus Aurelius' victories
From the lower part of the column:
172/173 against the GERMANS from scene 1 to 42 in what is now Germany
Against the MARCOMANNI from scene 43 to 55 in what is now the Czech Republic
In the middle there is an "Allegorical representation of Victory" writing on a shield and, in the upper part
174/175 against the QUADI from scene 56 to 77 in what is now Eastern Austria and Slovakia
Against the SARMATI from scene 78 to 115 in what is now Ukraine
Under Commodus there were less skilled Greek workers in Rome than in the past and the jobs to build and decorate official monuments were given to Roman architects and artists who had worked in the past for Greek masters. So that trend toward a disorganized expression typical of the Etruscan, Latin and Italic figurative culture creeps up again, having been tamed and camouflaged up to this point by the classic Greek naturalism
A document of the Christian apologist Apollinaris describes interestingly in the years 176/177 the event occurred in 174 known as the "miracle of the rain" and later represented in the column with the personification of rain as an old bearded man with his arms spread out: following the prayers of the Christian soldiers belonging to the XII Legion Fulminata the rain finally fell and it both gave water to drink to the thirsty Roman legion and flooded with water and hit by lightning the Roman enemy, the Quadi
"Stylistically the relief loses its qualities of a refined composition, of complex levels and backgrounds which in the Column of Trajan were an obvious legacy of the Hellenistic tradition. There is a tendency toward simplification and schematization. The drill digs deeply into the more substantial and detached marble figures, animating surfaces with violent luminosity contrasts: it is a kind of sculpture that could be described as expressionistic and it already anticipate the violently dramatic style which will be widely common in the III century" (Filippo Coarelli)
Domenico Fontana (1543/1607) in the years 1588/89 for Sixtus V Peretti (1585/90) designed the base and placed the "Statue of St. Paul" by Leonardo Sormani (before 1530/after 1589) and Tommaso Della Porta (about 1550/1606)
Some of the marble relief in the middle and the upper part were restored and remade by Matteo Bartolani da Città di Castello (c.1527/c.1598) and Giacomo Longhi Silla (active since 1568/d. 1619)
Probably in the area where Palazzo Wedekind is now there used to be the TEMPLE OF MARCUS AURELIUS and maybe nearby one ARCH OF MARCUS AURELIUS from which possibly came the reliefs in the Arch of Constantine

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