One of the greatest love stories of antiquity is that between the Roman emperor Hadrian and Antinous, a young Greek who drowned in the River Nile only four years after they met. Their love affair had it all: passion, scandal, mystery, and lifelong dedication. Antinous was deified by Hadrian after his death, with statues of the beautiful youth erected in all sanctuaries and cities of Rome’s vast empire.
In our design, the two lovers meet again. Hadrian is looking at Antinous with affection, while Antinous’ lowered gaze conveys feelings of both sadness and serenity.