Thursday, January 16, 2020



Also known as Congresso degli Arguti (Congress of the Smart People)

Common people used to hung on these statues messages known as pasquinate (lampoons), from Pasquino, the statue that started the tradition, a sort of today's “blog” that gave voice to the opposition to the regime

Abate Luigi

Abbot Luigi
Piazza Vidoni

“Man wearing a Toga” of the late Imperial period moved to Piazza Vidoni after the demolitions for the opening of Corso Vittorio Emanuele II


Via del Babuino 51

“Silenus” (or maybe the Sabine god Fidio Sanco) placed in 1576 on Via del Babuino (which took its name from the statue) at No. 51 for Pope Gregory XIII Boncompagni (1572/85)

Set in a rustic setting in 1738 for the Boncompagni Ludovisi family
In 1878 it was removed but it was reinstated in 1957
It was so famous that the “lampoons” hung here were called “babuinate”


Via del Corso 307

“Water carrier with barrel” on the left side of Palazzo De Carolis
It dates from the time of Gregory XIII Boncompagni (1572/85), although it is erroneously attributed to Michelangelo by popular tradition

Madama Lucrezia

Madame Lucretia
Piazza S. Marco

The name may come from Lucrezia d'Alagno, friend of Alfonso of Aragon and Paul II Barbo (1464/71) who commissioned the nearby Palazzo Venezia
It's actually a giant statue of “Goddess Isis” found in the Isei Campensis, the ancient temple dedicated to Isis and placed in Piazza Venezia in about 1500 by the Cardinal Lorenzo Cybo


Piazza del Campidoglio

Colossal reclining statue of “Ocean” of the first century AD found in the Forum and now in the courtyard of the Palazzo Nuovo of the Capitoline Museums


Piazza di Paquino

Maybe “Menelaus with the body of Patroclus” or “Ajax with the body of Achilles” Roman copy from the original of about 200 BC found on Via del Parione in 1501
It was perhaps part of the decoration of the Stadium of Domitian, and it was placed in Piazza Pasquino by Cardinal Oliviero Carafa

It took its name from that of a judgmental and talker tailor who lived nearby and who had recently died
It is the only one of the talking statues that continues to speak today

Among the many lampoons, whose authors were authoritative intellectuals, there was the one on the occasion of the excommunication by Pope Innocent X Pamphili (1644/55) for anyone who had smoked tobacco, a novelty recently imported from the New World, in the Basilica of St. Peter

“On the neck of the famous statue was hung a sign with Latin verses saying: 'You exercise your power against a leaf blown away by the wind and you pursue a dry straw’. The pope wanted to know the author, and Pasquino 'said': 'Job, 13, 24'; it was indeed verses from the Holy Scriptures. Even the pope promised a prize to the author, but since some time before the person responsable for a reckless lampoon against the sister of Pope Sixtus V had a bad end, this time the author was careful not to be discovered and made Pasquino answer : 'Free of charge. Don’t worry about it…’'“ (Italo De Tuddo)

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