This site is devoted to the sculpture and architectural remains of ancient Rome that survived the end of the Roman Empire and were potentially or actually available to artists and connoisseurs of the Italian Renaissance. It has been estimated that Italy in this period contained many more ancient buildings and statuary than have survived to this day; sculpture disappeared for many reasons while ancient building materials were often recycled (read "stolen") by later builders. Still, much ancient material remained. This is meant to be a quick reference guide to the most famous works, with one or two images of the sculpture or building and a brief text. A brief bibliography is (or will be) added also.
This page shows a small photograph and a brief description. To view the page devoted to each, just click on the highlighted text.
Equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius. Bronze. While in its present location on the Piazza del Campodoglio from 1538, it is documented from the tenth century. Many of the ancient bronzes were melted down either for the worth of their material or because they were statues of pagans; this survived because for centuries it was thought to portray the Emperor Constantine, the first Roman Emperor to officially recognize Christianity.
The Apollo Belvedere. So called because of its location in the Belvedere Courtyard, now part of the Vatican Museums Collections. Its Papal ownership can be traced back to 1509.
The Belvedere Torso (two views). This is recorded as being in the collection of Cardinal Colonna, in Rome, from 1432. Sometime after 1506 it entered the Papal collections and was set up in the Belvedere Courtyard.
The Laocoon. Marble. Discovered near the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome in 1506. Scholars are still undecided whether this is indeed the original or a copy of the famous statue group described by Pliny. The rediscovery of an ancient sculpture known previously only through Pliny caused a sensation, and had an immediate influence on painting and sculpture.
This Web site Owned, Created, and Maintained by Adrienne DeAngelis E-mail: email@example.com