BRONZI DI RIACE


“I BRONZI DI RIACE" or “Riace Bronzes” are two bronzes statues found in 1972 by a fisher in Riace Marina. These sculptures are considered masterpieces of Greek art made of bronze and some details of an alloy of copper and tin, silver and white calcite. The statues are of two men, probably soldiers, they were named “bronze A” and “bronze B”. The men have long curly beards and hair. Bronze A is 1.98m and bronze B is 1.97 m. They both weights around 160 kg. These sculptures are extremely realistic, I remember that when I was younger some people said that they just poured bronze over two soldiers, because it was impossible to have so many details sculpted into bronze. I have the fortune to live just about two hours from the museum who has them, “Museo archeologico di Reggio Calabria”. Just to enter the room where the bronzes are situated there is a need to lower the temperature of our body, since higher temperature may damage the bronzes. From what I remember the exposition room was extremely cold and just about 10 people could enter at once, because of the fear that these masterpieces could be ruined.


The statues were probably made during the 5th century B.C. and their style is the one from west Greece and Peloponnese, we still don’t know which sculptor could have made these two paragons. They became the symbol of the city of Reggio Calabria and to this day they are one of the few examples of real Greek statues, since most of the ones we have today are roman copies in Carrara marble. When I got to see them, I was stunned by their presence and how you could see the veins in their arms, I decided to sketch them because of how real they looked. I do remember that the back looked just a bit unrealistic, and then the guide told me that is because the coccyx wasn’t present in the statues to improve the line of their back. These sculptures are an example of contrapposto, a type of posture commonly used in ancient Greek’s statues.


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