Sculpture of The Day
Apotheosis of Claudius
The so-called Apotheosis of Claudius, of white marble. The sculpture of the eagle and the weapons is part of a funerary monument from the period of Emperor Augustus (27 BC–14 AD), and it was found in the country villa of General Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus (64 BC–8 AD).
It probably adorned the upper part of a rectangular marble pedestal containing his cinerary urn. Around 1650, at the behest of Cardinal Girolamo Colonna, a bust of the Emperor Claudius (now lost) sculpted by Orfeo Boselli (1600–1667) was placed on top of the eagle. The sculpture then received the mistaken name The Apotheosis of Claudius. The pedestal used by Boselli to complete this monument was made by an unknown sculptor around 1620 for Alberico I Cybo Malaspina (1532–1623), the Prince of the Italian cities represented on its four sides. In 1664 Colonna gave the monument to Philip IV of Spain.
Carlos Reusser. 17 October 2004(2004-10-17).