Address: Piazza di Pasquino
Zone: Rione Parione (Navona-Campo de' Fiori) (Roma centro)
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The so-called Pasquino, one of the talking statues, is a sculptural group representing Menelaus supporting the dying Patroclus, copied from a bronze original famous in various replicas (a complete replica is in Florence in the Loggia dei Lanzi), maybe assignable to the Pergamon sculptor Antigonos (240-230 BC), already identified in the past as Hercules fighting the Centaur, like Ajax with the body of Achilles. The group was probably part of the sculptural decorations of Domitian stadium and was found in Piazza Navona at the corner with via della Cuccagna during paving works of the area and in 1501 the cardinal Oliviero Carafa located it in the ancient Piazza di Parione, that afterwards was named after Pasquino, at the corner with Palazzo Orsini, then Braschi. There are different hypothesis about the name Master Pasquino, it was identified with a host, a barber, a tailor or a teacher of this area. Considered a precious piece of art, it was admired by Michelangelo and then by Bernini, who was inspired by it for his sculptures like the Moor and Abakkuk. In occasion of the holiday of St. Mark (25 April), the statue was dressed as a god (Venus, Janus or Apollo) and upon it were stuck up epigrams during academic contests that took place in the square. The base of the statue was always used to stick up boards where the common people expressed in rhyme or in prose its discontent (the so called “pasquinate”).
Last checked: 2010-07-12 4:11