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“Il Barbaro” by Silvio Porzionato

In Blueseries, for the first time Silvio Porzionato transposes to canvas his personal interpretations of the masterpieces of classical art masters that have shaped and directed his path as an artist.

“Busto di Daco,” representing Decebalus, king of the Dacians, is the yellow marble sculpture that influenced the making of this painting. It was found in the Forum of Trajan and is now in the Vatican Museums in Rome.

Busto di daco musei vaticani
Bust of Daco – yellow marble with fine granulation – height 60 cm – mid-Trajan reign

The Dacians were an ancient Danubian people, long at war with Rome. After an initial defeat suffered at the end of the first century A.D. by the Roman army, in the early second century A.D. Emperor Trajan with as many as 15 legions succeeded in defeating the Dacians people, led by King Decebalus, annexing their territories to the Roman Empire.

The Dacians proved to be daring warriors, and the conquest cost the Romans numerous lives. The victory over the Dacians was so difficult and important that it remained imprinted for several centuries to follow: the famous Trajan Column was erected in Rome and busts of Dacians, the barbarians, with their typical Phrygian cap were depicted in many monuments.

il barbaro silvio porzionato
Il Barbaro – olio su tela – 150 x 150 cm – Silvio Porzionato – 2024

Only aristocrats, who were entrusted with economic administration as well as constituting the warrior elite, had the right to cover their heads, and wore a felt hat, called a pileum.

Porzionato is meticulous in the realistic reproduction of profiles and anatomical connotations but builds his own visual path by tripling the composition on the canvas to achieve a total representation of the sobject. Porzionato’s Barbarian brings back all the pride and warlike nature of the Dacian king, composed of vigorous blue brushstrokes that make the face piercing and almost evanescent, the figure emerges from the depths and reveals itself as one of the pieces that make up the artist’s articulated inner world.