Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius

Capitoline Museums


The statue, kept in a hall at the Palazzo dei Conservatori (in Piazza del Campidoglio there is a copy), is the only one left from the classical age, because in the Middle Ages it was thought to be of Constantine, the emperor that legalized Christianity with his edict of 313 and was thus spared destruction. Originally it was in the Roman forum, in the location of Piazza Colonna, near the temple of the Antonini. In the eighth century it was moved to the Lateran and from there it was moved to the Capitoline Hill in 1538, where Michelangelo placed it at the center of his scenographic public square, a year later adding a base of his own design.