The larger than life statue stood for centuries outside the Pope’s Seat and Roman Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano. Michelangelo took a great interest in it and was instrumental in its restoration and removal in the 1500s to the central piazza of the Capitoline Hill museums which he had designed.

In 1971 I took the black and white set of photos with the poet and historian, Jean Pierre Darmon before the statue was replaced by an unconvincing replica in the piazza.
The colour photographs were taken in March 2010 in the Palazzo Masimo,

In 2005 it could only be seen from the outside and through a sheet of reflective plate glass, which gave the viewer an unattractive mix of the statue and reflected buildings.

These photos are a record of how Michelangelo wanted to see the philosopher emperor