Capitoline Wolf

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Capitoline Wolf

While looking through Gardner’s Art through the Ages I found a picture of the Capitoline Wolf and I was instantly curious about what it could possibly mean. I was really interested in learning why these two boys were suckling from this wolf, this is why I chose to do my art card on the Capitoline Wolf. This bronze statue is from the Classical period, ca. 500 – 480 BCE, and was made by an Etruscan sculptor. The statue is 2’7 ½” high. The infants portrayed are Romulus and Remus who are said to be the founders of Rome. Romulus and Remus great-uncle attempted to have them killed after recognizing that they could be more than human and gave a servant the task to assassinate them. Instead the servant only abandoned the infants near the Tiber river that was at the time flooded. Legend has it that a she-wolf found the infants and suckled them, a woodpecker helped feed them and later a swineherd brought them up. Romulus and Remus grew up and after Remus was captured, Romulus went to rescue him. When twins that were the correct age as the two infants abandoned were seen the secret of who they were was uncovered. With the help of their grandfather’s men and their own they were able to depose their great-uncle and helped restore their grandfather to the throne. Unwilling to serve under any king, Romulus and Remus left Alba to find their own city. They each found their own sites and while arguing as to whose site was better, Romulus killed Remus. Remus was buried and Romulus continued to build his own city which was Rome.

Works Cited
Kleiner, Fred S. Gardner’s Art through the Ages Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning 2013. Book