This is another section of the Piazza del Campidoglio. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post I was just amazed by the beauty and the intricacy of these statues. As you can see from the top image these are not little statues but larger than life. Everything in Rome seemed larger than life…and typically was.
“The two river-gods which also adorn this fountain are very old. Together with Marforio, now to be found in the Museum of the Capitol, they have the distinction of never having been buried since the downfall of Rome. Once they stood before “that most magnificent of all Roman temples” — Aurelian’s Temple of the Sun. Later they belonged to the Mediæval Museum of Statues, a collection kept in or near the old papal palace of the Lateran, where they had been called Bacchus and Saturn. The Nile, who should have been unmistakable because of his emblem of the Sphinx, has now his proper designation; but the other statue has a curious history. It was originally the River Tigris, a river familiar to the Romans since the wars with Mithradates. When, under Paul III, Michelangelo placed these statues in their present position, some influential person suggested that the Tigris, no longer of any interest to the Romans, should be changed into the Tiber. The emblem of the Tigris — a tiger — was then altered to represent the Roman Wolf, and the Twins were added. Pirro Ligorio tells the story, and goes on to say that the fingers of one of the Twins were originally a part of the Tiger’s fur.”