Tuesday, June 2, 2015



Built for Hadrian (117/138) and dedicated to his gay lover Antinous, who was born in Bithynia in northern Turkey

It was found in 1500 near the church of S. Croce in Gerusalemme, where in antiquity there was the Sessorian Palace and it was moved in 1632 in front of Palazzo Barberini by pope Urban VIII

It was moved again in 1773 in the Cortile della Pigna in the Vatican, where he was never raised, and finally erected here on the Pincian Hill in 1822 by Giuseppe Marini for Pius VII Chiaramonti (1800/23)

The inscriptions on the obelisk say that it was placed on the tomb of Antinous and that the tomb of Antinous was in the garden of the emperor in Rome

Maybe then it was in the gardens of Adonis on the Palatine Hill from which also come the round reliefs of the Arch of Constantine

“The cult of Antinous lasted much longer than the reign of Hadrian, his imperial lover. Free of Hadrian he drew his mass following, and his image is found not only in works of art for the upper classes but also in objects of daily life - lamps, plates and bowls. Whatever was the original idea behind his deification, the ageless Bitinious became a talisman by which the Greeks inhabitants of the empire could simultaneously celebrate their identity and their loyalty to Rome. He embodied the reconciliation between the two dominant cultures of the Mediterranean world. He was the Panhellenic ideal made flesh” (Anthony Everitt)

No comments:

Post a Comment