This 16th century Italian high relief in stone represents the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus. The first emperor of the famous Severan dynasty, he was in power from 193 to 211 AD. It is probably a fragment from a complex, as evidenced by its angle-shaped reverse. To support this hypothesis, it is necessary to take into consideration the presence of a cartridge under the figure of the emperor, allowing, initially, to designate him but also proving that he had to be placed very high. ??His long hair, topped with an imperial laurel crown, and his beard are the main physical characteristics used to designate the emperor. They are themselves borrowed from the iconography of Marcus Aurelius, the aim being to create a filiation between the great conquering emperor and the new dynasty set up, in order to legitimize the latter. ??
This representation shows the keen interest of Italian artists and humanists in ancient art, particularly due to the many archaeological discoveries that have taken place since the 14th century. The found works become witnesses, together with the many ancient texts that have been studied many times, offering a new knowledge of Antiquity (Cyriac of Ancona, 1391-1454). In addition to the plastic models that resurface, artists also borrow the subjects, as is the case with our high relief.
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