Colossus of Constantine Head Bust Sculpture Roman Emperor, Replica of early 4th century AD made of cast stone and hand-finished in antique finish. The Colossus of Constantine was a huge acrolithic statue of the late Roman emperor Constantine the Great (c. 280–337) that once occupied the west apse of the Basilica of Maxentius near the Forum Romanum in Rome. Portions of the Colossus now reside in the Courtyard of the Palazzo dei Conservatori of the Musei Capitolini, on the Capitoline Hill, above the west end of the Forum. The great head, arms and legs of the Colossus were carved from white marble, while the rest of the body consisted of a brick core and wooden framework, possibly covered with gilded bronze. Judging by the size of the remaining pieces, the seated, enthroned figure would have been about 12 meters (40 feet) high. The head is about 2½ meters high and each foot is over 2 meters long. The great head is carved in a typical, abstract, Constantinian style (“hieratic emperor style”) of late Roman portrait statues, whereas the other body parts are naturalistic, even down to callused toes and bulging forearm veins. The head was perhaps meant to convey the transcendence of the other-worldly nature of the Emperor over the human sphere, notable in its larger-than-life eyes which gaze toward eternity from a rigidly impersonal, frontal face. The treatment of the head shows a synthesis of individualistic portraiture: aquiline nose, deep jaw and prominent chin characteristic of all images of Constantine, with the trends of Late Roman portraiture which focus on symbolism and abstraction, rather than detail.
Made of cast stone. Cast stone is a type of gypsum cement whose properties are much different from plaster of paris which is what most sculpture shops use. Unlike plaster, which is soft, light and weak, cast stone is hard, heavy and strong. Cast stone feels like, and is heavy like a real stone would be, which can be experienced as soon you try to lift it.
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