Madama Lucrezia: Just Another Talking Statue
Updated: Dec 2, 2020
This is Madama Lucrezia: one of Rome’s five ‘talking statues.’ In the 16th century, a tradition began in which the people of Rome would complain about and satirise authoritative figures through anonymous notes (Pasquinate) that they would affix to the bases of certain statues, as if they were speaking.
Madama Lucrezia a colossal and fragmentary sculpted bust that was originally meant to depict the Egyptian Goddess Isis (or a priestess from the Temple of Isis in Rome) or the Roman empress Faustina.
She is named after Lucrezia D’Algano, the lover of the King of Naples during the 15th century, who lived in exile near the statue in Piazza San Marco. Lucrezia was given this sculpture as a gift.
Madama Lucrezia is the only female of the five ‘talking statues.’ Her gaping mouth creates the impression that she is just about to make a proclamation.
She is a testament to the ingenuity and imagination of the people of Rome when it came to satirising and poking fun at authoritative figures.
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