Statue of naked Roman emperor Trajan
A statue showing a naked Roman emperor Trajan carrying a wolf has drawn jeers in Romania since it was unveiled outside Bucarest’s National History Museum.
The bronze statue by Vasile Gorduz (1931-2008) portrays the genesis of the Romanian people from the merging of the Romans and the Dacians, with the wolf as a symbolic animal.
The strange posture and the nudity of the male character, as well as the appearance of the wolf with a scarf recalling the Dacians’ flag around its neck have drawn an avalanche of mocking remarks from passers-by and on the Internet.
“I have never seen anything so grotesque, a wolf with a pitbull’s head, a lizard’s tail and a tumor on its neck, carried by a guy who is visibly embarrassed by his nudity,” said a woman in her forties about the artwork.
The concept of this artwork is so complex, that apparently not everyone understood the meaning of the “wolf with the scarf”.
The Capitoline Wolf (Latin: Lupa Capitolina) is a bronze sculpture of a she-wolf suckling twin infants, inspired by the legend of the founding of Rome.
According to the legend, when Numitor, grandfather of the twins Romulus and Remus, was overthrown by his brother Amulius, the usurper ordered the twins to be cast into the Tiber River. They were rescued by a she-wolf who cared for them until a herdsman, Faustulus, found and raised them.
The Capitoline Wolf has been housed since 1471 in the Museo Nuovo in the Palazzo dei Conservatori on the Campidoglio (the ancient Capitoline Hill), Rome, Italy.
The age and origin of the Capitoline Wolf is a subject of controversy. The statue was long thought to be an Etruscan work of the 5th century BC, with the twins added in the late 15th century AD, probably by the sculptor Antonio Pollaiolo.
However, radiocarbon and thermoluminescence dating has found that it was possibly manufactured in the 13th century AD; this result, which undercuts the sculpture’s iconic significance, is still contested, and while carbon dating has been performed on remnants of the casting core, the results have not yet been publicised.