Portrait of the Four Tetrarchs, Venice

4.2
#234 of 846 in Things to do in Venice
The Portrait of the Four Tetrarchs is a porphyry sculpture group of four Roman emperors dating from around 300 AD. The sculptural group has been fixed to a corner of the façade of St Mark's Basilica in Venice, Italy since the Middle Ages. It probably originally formed part of the decorations of the Philadelphion in Constantinople, and was removed to Venice in 1204 or soon after.


The Portrait of the Four Tetrarchs depicts the four rulers in charge of the entire Empire, instituted by Emperor Diocletian. The Caesar he chose was Galerius, and they ruled over the Eastern half of the Empire, while the Western half was ruled by Augustus Maximian and Caesar Constantinius Chlorus, father of Constantine the Great. There is still discussion and disagreement as to the identity of these statues and their placement, but it is reasonable to assume that the Eastern rulers form a pair and the Western rulers form the other pair.
The Portrait of the Four Tetrarchs is a representative example of late Imperial portraiture. This period marked a sharp departure from the veristic depictions of Republican Rome, which was reflected visually through stylistic contrasts. Though this shift may at first seem like a regression, it marked the development of a style where symbolism trumped realism and idealism alike.
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Portrait of the Four Tetrarchs Reviews
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86 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Nice scalpture outside of the palace for pictures but i think 25euro per person to enter the palace is a big amount.  more »
  • Unless you know what the Four Tetrachs are, you will either miss this, or see it in the background of one of your pictures. You will pass it if you want to gaze at The Giants Staircase without going....  more »
Google
  • Cool little secret statue
  • flu across atlantic to see this monument and rest of Venice

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