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© Copyright 2018

Gianluca Pica
 


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BLOG OF A TOUR GUIDE IN ROME

08/04/2019, 12:24

#unaguidaturisticaroma, #atourguiderome, #romeisus, #rome, #roma, #sarcofago, #marmo, #barbari, #arte, #archeologia, #palazzoaltemps



THE-"GRANDE-SARCOFAGO-LUDOVISI"


 In the Museum of Palazzo Altemps there is the so called "Grande Sarcofago Ludovisi", that is symbolizing several things about the ancient Roman art and culture...



There is a large room in the fantastic archeological Museum of Palazzo Altemps in #Rome, the same room where the "Galata Suicida" (I wrote down about it) is located, where you will be impressed by another work of art: the "Grande Sarcofago Ludovisi" ("Big Ludovisi Sarcophagus"), a giant #marble masterpiece which made part of the incredibile Ludovisi collection, owned by this famous and wealthy noble family. Looking at the marble reliefs of the sarcophagus we can clearly see a scene of was, a cruel battle between the Romans and the Barbarians. We can recognize the last ones thanks to some details that can tell us something about the Roman art and culture: Barbarians has beard, different weapons and armors, mustaches but mainly a specific pose. All of them are going to be killed, all of them are died, others are defeated, others agains are step on horses...so, alla of them are clearly defeated men, warriors who are loosing against Rome. The Roman art, mainly the public one, was used to underline how Rome was invincible, how Rome must win, how Rome must destroy its enemies. The Barbarians are always depicted as imploring men, as slaves of war prisoners. It was one of the main purposes of the Roman art: to communicate the power of Rome. But there is something more... the "Grande Sarcofago Ludovisi" was made around the III century AD, but still today we don’t really what is the Barbarian tribe and population that is fighting against Rome. Maybe they are Goti, but the scholars are not sure. Now try to see the reliefs, how deep they are: thanks to the distance between the marble surface of the sarcophagus and some faces or weapons of the figures there is a wonderful "chiaroscuro", a game of shadows and lights that is giving more depth to the whole masterpiece. Moreover is incredible how the reliefs are completely detailled, and how they are covering the sarcophagus. There are not empty spaces, nothing: bodies with bodies, knights and horses, enemies and Roman soldiers. Here there is what is known as "horror vacui" (fear of the empty spaces): the Romans used to create spaces full of things because a vacuum was considered Chaos. Then we should know how probably we are not looking at a real battle: probably this scene of was is just a symbolism, something to underline the power of Rome. It is also true that there is especially one character that is more important than others: the knight standing in the middle, with the opened left arm. It seems that he is leading the Romans, legions thaat must destroy the Barbarians. What is curious is how on his brow there is a sort of "X". What is it? Maybe the symbol of Mitra, an ancient Persian God who was really loved and popular, mainly by the Roman soldiers, around the III century AD. Maybe the man who commissioned this masterpiece was a general and, also, a follower of Mitra?Who knows... #romeisus #rome #sarcophagus #marble #atourguiderome


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