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On Iconography and Attribution of the Loricatus of Salona

Dražen Maršić ; Odsjek za arheologiju, Sveučilište u Zadru, Zadar, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (5 MB) str. 7-25 preuzimanja: 659* citiraj
APA 6th Edition
Maršić, D. (2014). O ikonografiji i atribuciji salonitanskoga lorikata. Tusculum, 7 (1), 7-25. Preuzeto s
MLA 8th Edition
Maršić, Dražen. "O ikonografiji i atribuciji salonitanskoga lorikata." Tusculum, vol. 7, br. 1, 2014, str. 7-25. Citirano 07.05.2021.
Chicago 17th Edition
Maršić, Dražen. "O ikonografiji i atribuciji salonitanskoga lorikata." Tusculum 7, br. 1 (2014): 7-25.
Maršić, D. (2014). 'O ikonografiji i atribuciji salonitanskoga lorikata', Tusculum, 7(1), str. 7-25. Preuzeto s: (Datum pristupa: 07.05.2021.)
Maršić D. O ikonografiji i atribuciji salonitanskoga lorikata. Tusculum [Internet]. 2014 [pristupljeno 07.05.2021.];7(1):7-25. Dostupno na:
D. Maršić, "O ikonografiji i atribuciji salonitanskoga lorikata", Tusculum, vol.7, br. 1, str. 7-25, 2014. [Online]. Dostupno na: [Citirano: 07.05.2021.]

In 2010 the Croatian public was surprised by the news on the armoured statue (loricatus) of Salona that appeared in a Sotheby's auction. According to the information available on the Internet, the statue was bought by the Frederic J. Iseman Art Trust, a trust of the New York businessman F. J. Iseman. In 2011 the statue was lent to the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New York, to have been displayed in their Greek and Roman Wing (Figure 1). Till the end of 2015 it is lent to the Yale University Art Gallery. It has been subjected to no significant restoration, except for the two steel pipes that are inserted in its upper legs and fixed in a wider cubic pedestal making a single (mobile) unit with the statue now. The facts that all the texts of importance on the statue are in the German language and that the statue is little known to the Croatian public, in spite of it being the most valuable monument that has ended up outside Croatia, have brought to the decision on dedicating it a paper in the Croatian language too. The reasons are, of course, of interpretative nature as well. Its former Austrian owners confirmed a previous tradition that the statue came from Salona. According to their story, it was acquired by their ancestor, Aloys Maximilan Neumann (1829-1906), in Split in the mid 19th century from an unknown collector, when he was told that the statue had been found in the five kilometres far Salona. In his paper from 2009, E. Pochmarski states that »lately as the place of its discovery with great certainty is being mentioned one of the double temples at the northern side of the Salona's forum«. However, a more detailed analysis of the information that lead Pochmarski to his conclusion indicates this is not an information from some older manuscript or oral tradition but a (re)construct that can be proven in no way. It is possible that Pochmarski misunderstood Croatian authors' texts, because D. Rendić-Miočević as the possible place of presentation (!) of the statue suggests the low structure between the small temples, J. Jeličić states generally that it stood at the forum, whereas Pochmarski unexpectedly relates it to the double temples, which Rendić-Miočević treats just as a chronological link. That the statue could not have been related to the forum as early as in the 19th century is indicated by the fact that the location of the forum in Salona has been known only since the Dyggve's researches performed in the 1930s. Conclusion, therefore, occurs that the statue does origin from Salona and that it was most probably discovered in the wider area of the forum, where as the location of discovery should be excluded neither the location of the curia nor of the baths further north.
W. Schmid deems the statue to have been made of six segments for easier transport, which means this is an import. According to him, the supporting element was by his left leg and covered by the robe drapes. K. Stemmer misses a detail and does not mention the statue's composite nature at all, wherefore he does not take it as an example in his paper on sculpturing techniques. His opinion can be indirectly read from his categorising it in the V scheme. All examples of this scheme, without exception, have their supporting elements by their right standing leg. In all other schemes, too, the support is normally by the body weight bearing leg. In his recent revision, E. Pochmarski rightly criticizes the Schmid's thesis on the support and is the first to take standing that this element must have been by the right leg and that it must have carried the right forearm as well. The support almost certainly had to be behind the right leg, however whether the right arm was also on it cannot be stated with certainty (more probably it was not).
Pochmarski subjected to revision also the Schmid's thesis on the statue being made of six segments, and of great importance is the Schmid's noticing that the torso was made of two segments - of two allegedly different sorts of marble - the upper white and the lower rather greyish marbles, of similar medium sized crystals. Pochmarski deems the forearms not to have been detached from the upper arms, but that these had been made of a single piece and then broken (!), that the groove for iron insert in the right upper arm (below the tunic) has remained from a Roman time or later restoration, and that the left arm had not been designed to be connected with the forearm but that these had also made a single piece, but following the break the place of the break was smoothed.
The presented interpretation overlooked a few important details. The first one is that the robe drapes obviously were over the left arm and that this bore a significant weight, this moreover so as it could have held an attribute as well. Making it of a single piece with the torso was a failure from the beginning. The metal pteriges and leather straps of lining at the left hip show signs of being unfinished (Figure 11), this however not necessarily indicating a monolithic make of the arm. The wrist in front of the drape was protruded forward, did not hinder making the relief, wherefore it was probably made separately. The right arm was positioned hanging and perhaps just a little forward and apart from the body, and it could have held an attribute, unless it was in the left hand. Such posture and weight again put in danger the hand made as a single piece with the body. The pteriges at the right hip, however, are fully completed (Figure 9). If the arm were made of a single piece, it could not have been completed, as it is the case with the left hip. Covering the connection with the robe is a logical solution, known at numerous imperial statues. Thus, the statue had to be made of at least five sections: torso with upper arms (1), base with support, legs and thighs (2), head (3), larger part of the right arm (4), and the left wrist (5). It is not known by what kind of installation the two surviving segments were connected because this has never been examined. On whether the statue was painted and whether it contains paint traces, too, there are no information in the existing literature. According to Schmid, the statue of Solin was made as imitation of a bronze statue of the later Augustean period, and celebrated Tiberius as the defeater of the Pannonians and the Delmatae (the 6-9 AD uprising). Schmid finds the Illyrian character of the tropaeum in the head dress where he sees a field cap similar to that worn by the Celts (Figures 4-5), having recognised the same also at the statue of Vis/Zagreb (Figure 12). Stemmer too deems the statue to have been made after the Augustean prototype, and dates it to the Tiberian period, agreeing with the observation that the relief decoration reminds of that on bronze statues. About the Schmid's explanation of the contents of the back side of the statue and presentation of the tropaeum (connections with Tiberius) he says this does not contradict the stylistic analysis. Pochmarski returns to the Schmid's interpretation, deeming the statue to have been created at the end of the Augustean period and in Salona (!), to celebrate the Tiberius' Illyric victories. A somewhat wider dating, from around 30 till around 60, is advocated by C. C. Vermuele (III). Croatian authors took various stands about the statue. The Schmid's interpretation made source to the Rendić-Miočević's thesis that the statue of Solin could present August himself, and that in Zagreb (from Vis) Tiberus. The thesis has found its supporters in the recent times as well. The Schmid's and Stemmer's analysis are followed by the texts written on the statue on several occasions by N. Cambi. His repeated opinion is that the statue is from te Tiberius' period and that it most probably belonged to the August's successor.
Following repeated analysis of some contextual levels, the offered dating and attribution theses can be made certain additions and corrections. The generally accepted (Schmid's) observation that production of the relief reminds of that of bronze statues cannot be significantly objected, however the question is whether this connection has a precise chronological value. Is it possible that, for instance, on a Claudius period statue as relics appear formative and stylistic details of the Augustean period? Pochmarski correctly noticed that Stemmer at no place determined the meaning of the expression »basic type« relative to the original or the prototype, and it remains unclear as to what extent replicas represent a type in the original, and to what extent new creations depart from the prototype. While Schmid finds the very appearance of a tropaeum with Victorias, together with the discovery location and suggestive reasons, to suffice to relating it to Tiberius, Stemmer concludes that symmetrical positioning of Victorias / Nicas is a decorative-symbolic image with no historic reference; according to him, only the tropaea showing squatting imprisoned barbarians at the bottom have an allegorical character. Given the way in which it is conceived, the tropaeum at the statue really has little to do with the famous Gemma Augustea or the tropaeum of Gardun. The only common points are in the execution of the elegant curls and shields. If the orderers or the sculptors cared to relate the statue to the Pannonian-Delmatian uprising, would not have they presented at the bottom of the armour the defeated enemies (such as at the statue of Zagreb), rather than the palmetas? It is to be kept in mind that this detail could have been solved by execution of the support in the form of figure of a prisoner, such as, for instance, at the acephalic statue of Olympia.
In recognising the »Illyrian« character of the tropaeum, of great importance was identification of the tropaeum head dress, recognised by Schmid firmly as a round leather "field" cap (Figures 4-5). This interpretation was accepted by Stemmer, Abramić and others. This detail was analysed in a measured way by Pochmarski, who also accepted it, but also noticed that the analogies presented (by Schmid) have many mutually unrelatable details. Even a superfluous view shows the presented object is most logically identifiable as a cap, although some alternative interpretations are possible as well. If not as the originator, than at least as a predecessor of such presentation, could have been taken the tropaeum at the inner frieze of the temple of Apollo Sosianus in Rome (Figure 13). It is presented on the triumphant sedan-chair, also dressed in a tunic and a robe, its head dress obviously being a thick woollen cap. Identical is even the horizontal groove identified by Schmid as a stripe at the statue of Solin. Presentation of the tropaeum in the Apollo's temple is an example how the appearance of a tropaeum may, but does not have to, relate to a particular military victory. It is deemed, namely, that the presented tropaeum makes part of procession of the famous August's triple triumph of 29 BC. Since there are no recognisable symbols of Actium and Egypt, it can be rightly assumed that this is about a victory in Illyricum, moreover so since we have learned from Dio Cassius that on the first day of the triumph August celebrated his victories over the Pannonians and the Delmatae, the Iapodes and their neighbours, but he also reports that victories over some other Germanic and Gallic peoples were celebrated as well.
Doubting the Schmid's thesis that the tropaeum is covered with an "Illyrian" cap still does not exclude the possibility of the statue belonging to Tiberius and that the tropaeum really symbolises victories over the Pannonians and the Delmatae. There are a few formative and iconographic elements having very firm foothold and comparisons with statues dated to the Tiberian period: form and decoration of the metal pteriges (Figures 8-11), execution of the double shoulder leather stripes (Figure 3), and in particular the hairstyle of the right side Victoria in the tropaeum decoration scene (Figure 5). The two former details are found together, for instance, at the statue of unknown origin kept in Louvre depot and dated to the Tiberian period. The hairstyle of the right hand Victoria was fashionable over a very long period of time, the side fringes covering the ears (with no curls) with locks falling down the neck and a somewhat wider knot at the back of the head are typical for the Tiberian period.
On the statue there are also some details that could shift the dating a few decades later. Two of these are of particular interest: execution of the acanthus tendrils with the ending rosettes with two rows of leaves around the pestle (known from statues of the later, Julian-Claudian origin, e.g. of Minturn, Verona, etc.) and traces of drilling at the tropaeum trunk, decoration of the front upper and other pteriges, here present to an extent greater than at some later statues. It is interesting that execution of the three drilled holes in the trunk of the statue of Solin is repeated at the statue of Trajan from Gabi, today in Louvre, deemed by Stemmer to be of Flavian origin and by Boschung perhaps a bit older (Figure 14). Although being a topic of a lesser importance, presentation of the Solus' team in the upper part, with the dog jump motif as the separator, and with interesting iconographic comparisons, too, makes a possible orientation point for a somewhat later dating (Figure 3).
According to Schmid, making the statue of several sections is aimed to its easier transportation, that would mean that it was imported to Salona, that is, that its creation after a bronze original took place most probably in Rome. Because of its exceptional quality, Stemmer deems it to be produced in workshops of the city of Rome. Pochmarski concludes that the two sections of the torso have been made by two different sculptors within a single workshop (!) and that such practice indicates rather a local manufacture of Salona (!) that can be dated to the later Augustan period. Although appealing, such a theory seems overhasty and lacking footholds. The thesis on two sorts of marble is based on visual identification only, and even if correct it cannot make proof of local manufacturing. With regard to the statue body being made of two sections, the best examples of this technique are just in the imperial sculptures of the province's coastal area, among the statues of heroic nudity and in togas (e.g. Salona, Osor, Vis, Narona). Of these, those from the sanctuary in Narona are made of Greek marble (Pentelic and cipollino marbles) and are certainly imported. Statistics of geographical presence of statues of the scheme V and presentations of the Solus' team, too, support the thesis on the statue originating outside Dalmatia, most probably from Rome.

Ključne riječi
loricatus; Salona; iconography; tropaeum

Hrčak ID: 127073



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