fbpx
Advertisements

Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

The Colossus of Constantine

Rome-Capitole-StatueConstantin

The Colossus of Constantine

The Colossus of Constantine was a massive sculptured statue of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (280–337) that once stood near the Forum Romanum in Rome. Large broken portions of the Colossus are now on display at the Capitoline Museums.

Constantine was the first Christian emperor of Rome, and he had a profound effect on the development of the Roman and Byzantine world. After reunifying the empire, he established a new dynasty and founded a new capital, named Constantinople after himself. Christianity played an essential role in Constantine’s rule and his initiatives for reform and renewal in the Roman Empire.

Colossus

Large Fragments from The Colossus of Constantine statue

The Colossus was dismantled and pillaged sometime in late Antiquity. The more significant marble portions of the statue were rediscovered in 1486. The large head was carved in a typical Constantinian style of late Roman portrait statues, whereas the other body parts are more naturalistic.

The fragments on display include the right arm with an elbow, the head, the right kneecap, a right hand, the left shin, the right foot, the left kneecap and the left foot. The statute appears to have been re-worked, in the later part of Constantine’s reign and the hand containing an imperial sceptre was replaced a hand holding a Christian symbol. Constantine was the first Roman Emperor to adopt Christianity as the Empire’s official religion.

Musei Capitolini-statua di Costantino-piede-antmoose.jpg

These fragments were removed from the Basilica at the Roman Forum and placed in the nearby Palazzo by Michelangelo, who was working actively in the vicinity. As with the Laocoön statue, these fragments fed Michelangelo’s imagination and his work.

Hand Constantine Musei Capitolini MC786

The Pointing Finger from The Colossus of Constantine was examined in detail by Michelangelo

Did the massive finger from the “Colossus of Constantine” play an inspirational role in the painting of God’s finger in the “Creation of Adam” fresco painted by Michelangelo on the Sistine Chapel Ceiling at the Vatican?

The Creation Michelangelo

“Creation of Adam” fresco painted by Michelangelo

Exploring Sculpture

Reflections

  • What do these colossal sculptures tell us about the power of ancient rulers?
  • What inspired Emperor Constantine to adopt Christianity after so much Ancient Roman opposition of Christianity?
  • Did this statue inspire Michelangelo’s masterpiece of God’s finger in the “Creation of Adam” fresco?

The Colossus of Constantine

  • Title:                The Colossus of Constantine
  • Made:              312–315 AD
  • Rediscovered:  1486
  • Material:          White marble, brick, wood, gilded bronze
  • Museums:        Capitoline Museums

Explore European Museums

France Museums

Paris Museums

Italy Museums

Rome Museums

Florence

Milan

Greece Museums

Athens

Athens Historical Sites

Thessaloniki Museums

Thessaloniki Historical Sites

Delphi Museums and Historical Sites

Delphi Historical Sites

Delos Museums and Historical Sites

Santorini Museums

  • Museum of Prehistoric Thera
  • Archaeological Museum of Thera
  • Maritime Museum, Santorini

Thera Historical Site

Olympia Museums and Historical Sites

Corinth Museums and Historical Site

Mycenae Museum and Historical Site

Epidaurus Museum & Historic Site

Heraklion, Crete Museum & Historic Site

Meteora Historic Site 

Milos Museum & Historic Site

  • Milos Historical Sites
  • Milos Museum

Mystras Historic Site

Pella Museum & Historic Site

Germany Museums

Berlin

Austria Museums

Vienna

Ireland Museums

Dublin

Netherlands Museums

Amsterdam

The Hague

Spain Museums

Madrid

Belgium Museums

Brussels

Serbia Museums

Belgrade

Poland Museums

Warsaw

Switzerland Museums

Zürich

Czech Museums

Prague

Norway Museums

Oslo

~~~

Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.”
– Marcus Aurelius

~~~


Photo Credit: I, Jean-Christophe BENOIST [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons 2) User: (WT-shared) Jtesla16 at wts wikivoyage [CC BY-SA 1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons 3) CC BY 2.0, Link 4) See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons 4) Michelangelo [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Advertisements