Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Marcus Aurelius in Providence

While studying for the art slides test, I realized that there is a Marcus Aurelius statue on Brown's campus. Moses Brown Ives Goddard (class of 1854) donated the statue, which stands at the top of Lincoln Field, behind Sayles Hall, facing Thayer Street. I thought this was interesting, as well as indicative of how Roman sculpture remains a part of our culture.
The statue intrigues me because even though Aurelius is portrayed as a powerful leader, he does not carry any weapons, perhaps showing his desire to be seen as a peacemaker.


Katherine said...

Julia- I love that you found this at Brown. As I also studied for the test, I particularly liked the Marcus Aurelius statue. It was very unique for the time. I liked how it showed power without the use of weapons, as Julia said. It just showed a very poweful man above all riding on his horse.

C-Sted said...

It is also interesting that the Marcus Aurelius seems improperly proportioned compared to the horse. I know that we mentioned that this was the case with the original... Is this a copy of the ancient statue? Also, why would he be so large? Is it simply a result of artistic imperfection? Or is Aurelius being portrayed as "larger than life," as Augustus is in his own statue?

Blaine said...

Colin brings up a very interesting idea. In many ancient sculptures, heroes were depicted as proportianetly larger than the the horses they were riding and even the sailboats they were sailing. The statue of Marcus Aurelius at Brown as well as the statue of Trajan located in the Trajan Forum are two ideal examples of this disproportion. By making the heroes larger than the horses they are riding, the sculpter symbolically portrays praise and immense power of the hero.