272 IH- Southern Quarters. ROME. <*• The Capitol :
Dante (Paradiso, xii. 124). To the left is a colossal statue of Leo X.,
by Aimo da Vairano, near which a slab marks the tomb of Felice
de' Fredi, who discovered the Laocoon group (p. 400) in 1506.
Choir. To the left, the handsome tomb of Giov. Batt. Savelli
(d. 1498), from the studio of Andrea Bregno. From 1512 to 1565
the high-altar was adorned with the Madonna of Foligno by Raphael
(p. 389). The donor, Sigismondo Conti da Foligno, is interred here.
The present altar-piece is an ancient Madonna, ascribed to St. Luke.
The Franciscan monastery belonging to the church was for the most
part pulled down in 1888 to make room for the vast Monument 'of Victor
Emmanuel II. (p. 232).
The centrai approach, ascending in shallow steps paved with
asphalt ('la cordonata'), leads direct to the Piazza del Campidoglio.
At the foot of the steps are copies of the Egyptian Lions mentioned
at p. 274, and at the top a group of the horse-taming Dioscuri
(found near the theatre of Balbus). In the gardens to the left is
a Bronze Statue of Cola di Rienzo, by Masini. The pedestal,
formed of ancient architectural and inscribed fragments, is in¬
tended to suggest Rienzi's antiquarian studies. Higher up are cages
containing a she-wolf and two eagles.
The design of the present *Piazza del Campidoglio, or
Square of the Capitol (PI. II, 20), is due to Michael Angelo, but its
execution, though begun soon after 1538, was not completed until
the 17th century. Michael Angelo superintended in person only
the erection of the statue of Marcus Aurelius and the construction
of the staircase-approach and of the flight of steps in front of the
Palazzo del Senatore; the rest was executed from his plans, with
various modifìcations of detail, by his successors. The slanting
position of the palaces at the sides is due to the situation of the
earlier palace of the Conservatori. —^On the balustrade in front,
adjoining the Dioscuri, are the so-called Trophies of Marius, ad-
mirably executed works probably dating from the reign of Domi-
tian (brought hither from the water-tower of the Aqua Julia,
p. 209), and the statues of the Emp. Constantine and his son Con-
stans from the Thermae of Constantine (p. 203). On the right is
the first milestone of a Roman road, and on the left the seventh of
the ancient Via Appia.
In the centre of the piazza rises the admirable *Equestrian
Statue of Marcus Aurelius (161-180), in bronze, once gilded,
which stood near the Lateran in the middle ages, and was, as the
inscription records, transferred hither in 1538. Its originai posi¬
tion is unknown. It owes its excellent preservation to the popular
belief that it was a statue of Constantine, the first Christian em¬
peror (see pp. xxxiii, lv). The height of the pedestal, which is said
to have been designed by Michael Angelo, is skilfully calculated
so as to permit spectators to inspect even the head of the statue.