Kristin Jones, She Wolves (2005), Piazza Tevere, Rome. Photo: Erica Kruger

She Wolves

Piazza Tevere, between Ponte Sisto and Ponte Mazzini, Rome, Italy

Commissioned by:

1800′ L

Water, Travertine

The She-Wolf has been the recognizable symbol of Rome for millennia.  She is the icon of the mythological beginnings of the City, embodying the dichotomy between nature and culture. The legendary account of the city’s origins tell of the wild She-Wolf who rescues the infant twins of royal birth Romulus and Remus from the Tiber River.

Kristin Jones‘ She Wolves brought the mythic symbol to life on the banks of the Tiber as a tribute to Rome and in celebration of it’s 2,758th birthday. Encouraged by the contemporary She-Wolf mascot of Rome’s beloved soccer team, the city’s Department of Sanitation collaborated with Jones to power-wash the darkened travertine embankment walls to reveal twelve majestic She-Wolves, accurately drawn from historical sources and etched from the patina of history. The shadowed procession of silhouettes faced downstream, where the river meets the sea. The frieze stood eight meters high and spanned 560 meters of the Piazza Tevere, between Ponte Sisto and Ponte Mazzini.

She Wolves was researched under the guidance of archaeologist Claudio Parisi Presicce, the foremost scholar of the She-Wolf, who generously offered access to his catalogue of more than 300 images from the archives of the Capitoline Museum and other institutions around the world. With Presicce’s help, historical images were selected from the nearly three-thousand-year history of the She-Wolf icon and rendered graphically by Francesca Fini.