The colossal marble head of the emperor Constantine the Great (r. 306-37), on display in the courtyard of the Palazzo dei Conservatori, once formed part of an equally colossal statue, which once stood in the Basilica of Maxentius in the Forum Romanum.
The head, arms, legs and feet of the statue were carved out of marble, while the rest of the body was made up of a brick and wood core, possibly covered with gilded bronze. Judging by the size of the head, which is 2.5 m (8 ft), the seated figure would have been about 12 m (40 ft) high. The remnants of the statue were unearthed in 1486.
The Palazzo dei Conservatori forms part of the Musei Capitolini.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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