Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius
Date 161-80 CE
Provenance Capitoline Hill (Campidoglio), Rome
Housed at Museo del Palazzo dei Conservatori, Rome
As with Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius hearkened back to the bearded styles of Grecians past, being a philosopher himself. The art, too, takes upon this philosophical air, as abstract themes become more abundant. Marcus’ gaze is covered with languid eyelids as his outstretched arm implies mercy; meanwhile, the raised leg of his horse would have been smashing a now-missing barbarian.