We’ve discovered there are lots of colossal feet in the British Museum collection. Mac and I were wondering why people collected these colossal feet, rather than other parts of the body. Is it that they are instantly recognisable? More interesting to look it? The touch point?
Eighteenth-century collectors would collect limbs as curiosities. One of the most famous sets is the Colossus of Emperor Constantine at the Palazzo dei Conservatori (Capitoline Museum) in Rome. There’s a colossal head, right hand, and foot of a seated statue.Felix was reminded of Cassius’s speech in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (Act 1, Scene 2), describing Caesar’s tyrannical nature
Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow worldLike a Colossus, and we petty menWalk under his huge legs and peep aboutTo find ourselves dishonorable graves.
And while we’re on the subject of colossus, we shouldn’t forget to mention the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.