The She-Wolf: The Capitoline Wolf Statue

1368 Words6 Pages
The she-wolf, or lupa, has been a Roman icon as far back as its founding and there is no better visual representation of this that the Capitoline Wolf statue. The piece, originally thought to be of Etruscan origin, has endured weathering of hundreds of years, even depicted on coins and other monuments demonstrating the Roman people’s dedication to the longevity of the she-wolf (Lombardi 2002: 601). This is evidenced in the multiple polishes of the statue throughout the centuries, the latest as recent as 1997 - 2000 (Mazzoni 2010:35). The age and origin of this statue is subject to controversy, but it is nevertheless an essential aspect of the Roman spirit.
The figure of the lupa is intrinsic to Rome. Most famously, the wolf is the mother figure
…show more content…
This provides scholars an insight to the importance placed on the statue. Routinely cleaned, every occasion on which this is done shows a continuation of the important cultural connotations, renewed with each shine, for centuries. Many scholars assert that to add or restore an art piece takes away from the artist’s original message, while still others argue the opposite (Mazzoni 2010: 36). For example, the Renaissance inclusion of Romulus and Remus may have detracted from the earliest meaning, but it does add new and enhanced cultural pride, and now more than ever it depicts the city’s famous founding myth. Clearly these additions have increased their visual appeal, as the lupa not only still stands today, but subsists in the form of logos for events and teams, portrayals in film, and novels (Mazzoni 2010: 79).
The statue of the she wolf has endured for a thousand years, and longer still in visual art and collective cultural conscious. In effigy, the wolf and her charges express ideas and philosophies intrinsic to Roman civilization. As such, the Capitoline Wolf is a national icon, timeless as a symbol of the Eternal City despite the controversy surrounding it. Although the Capitoline Wolf, and possibly its predecessor have been displaced and appropriated for different uses during the course of its existence, it remains representative of the tradition, power, and legacy of Rome and its

More about The She-Wolf: The Capitoline Wolf Statue

Open Document