Madama Lucrezia – Rome, Italy - Atlas Obscura

Madama Lucrezia

This statue is the only female representation of Rome's "talking statues." 


This colossal statue known in Rome as “Madama Lucrezia” is located on the right side of the church in Piazza San Marco, Rome.

This fragmentary statue is believed to be either an Isiac statue (the goddess Isis herself or a priestess of the temple of Isis in Rome), or a portrait of Empress Faustina, wife of Constantius II.

It’s known as “Madama Lucrezia” (Dame Lucrezia) in honor of Lucrezia D’Alagno, the lover of Alfonso of Aragon, King of Naples during the 15th century, who lived in exile near the statue’s present location and received the structure as a gift.

The statue was one of the five “talking statues” of the 16th century, known for the irreverent and satirical Pasquinades, a form of anonymous satire, that were placed next to the statues as if they were speaking. They were often designed to poke fun at government officials.

The statue now lingers in this corner of the city and is largely damaged from weathering over the centuries. It remains a testimony of the irreverent spirit of Rome’s populace and its tools for political protest.

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July 1, 2020

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