From Column of Trajan, Rome
Cast of upper moulding of base
Photo: R.A.
© Copyright protected
Click here to order image/reproduction rights
Cast of upper moulding of base
Plaster cast, 19th century?, 240 X 390 X 180 X 7.4 kg
 Add to Lightbox

The plaster cast is of the upper moulding of the base of the column of Trajan. The column was built between AD 106 and 113, and stood between the libraries behind the Basilica in the new Forum of Trajan in Rome. The base was decorated with arms and armour, carried a dedicatory inscription, and functioned as the tomb of the emperor Trajan.

The Royal Academy had many casts from the Column of Trajan already by the later eighteenth century. It has two different versions of this particular detail; both of which can be attested on display in the studios between 1880 and 2003.

This work is currently on display in the North Dining Room, Keeper's House, Royal Academy of Arts.
The Column of Trajan was located in the Forum of Trajan (dedicated AD 113) in Rome and has remained standing since its original construction. It is made of three elements: a base with interior chambers; a column shaft; and a bronze statue of the Emperor on top, now replaced by St. Peter. A narrative frieze, full of figures and contextual detail, is carved around the exterior of the column in low relief; it recounts the two campaigns which Trajan led against the Dacians in AD 101-102, and 105-106.

The Royal Academy has 52 casts of heads in the form of medallions, and once had as many as 113 such casts. 105 of them may have come from the mid-18th c. collection of the Duke of Richmond and another eight came from the Thomas Lawrence collection. The Academy also has three casts of architectural details from the base.