Foot of the Emperor Constantine (ca. 280 – 337)

Replica, plaster


Antwerp, Belgium

This is a plaster replica, on a smaller scale, of a foot of the Colossus of Constantine, a statue made for the Basilica Nova on the Forum Romanum in Rome. The enormous figure had a wooden body covered in gilded bronze, whereas its limbs and head were of marble. It was dismantled in the Middle Ages, probably to recover the bronze. The marble remains of the statue, including the head and the original of this foot, were excavated in 1487 and can be seen today in the Capitoline Museums in Rome. Collecting plaster copies of sculptures from Classical Antiquity was customary among the humanists. Rockox himself kept a catalogue of his collection of antiquarian items, which included nineteen marble busts of Roman heads of state, orators and mythological figures, as well as plaster casts. The casts probably served to make his collection better known or to give his circle of humanist friends better access to them.

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  • Title: Foot of the Emperor Constantine (ca. 280 – 337)
  • Creator: Replica, plaster