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Source Image: PR210_03_09 of Continuous Relief of Arch of Constantine

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Description

Detail of the Battle of the Milvian Bridge scene.

Monument
Arch of Constantine 
Monument Part
Continuous Relief 
Monument Type
Architecture 
Material(s)
Marble (Visual identification)  
Date
ad 315 
Keywords
Roman SoldierWaterBlock DivisionBattleHorse  
Collections
Arch of Constantine, Rome  

Location

Original Location
Rome 

Evidence for working practices

1. Toolmarks

Process
Detailing
Tool
Flat Chisel
Method
Angle: Shallow (40-50°)
Force: Gentle
Description
Most of the detailed carving in this scene was done with the flat chisel, the marks of which are especially evident on the water at the bottom.

2. Toolmarks

Process
Outlining
Tool
Flat Chisel
Method
Angle: Shallow (40-50°)
Force: Gentle
Description
The flat chisel was also used to outline the figure and his horse in an attempt to set him out from the background.

3. Block joint

Process
Placement
Description
A clear block division runs down the middle of this image. Interestingly the details of the figures cross the line somewhat awkwardly. The head of the figure to the left and that of his horse do not cross over this line - if anything the line goes around the soldier's head. This could indicate that the carving of this scene was done on the ground before these blocks were installed, perhaps with only small details (like the horse's ear) being added once it was in place. The other possibility is that the joint between blocks was not very tight and so the carvers working on this scene avoided carving key features of their design across it. This kind of evidence for an awareness of block divisions is very rare in monumental carving at Rome prior to this period.

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