NYIT Center for Teaching and Learning with Technology
With modifications by Arch. Edeliza V. Macalandag, UAP
From Seven Hill to Three Continents: The Art of Ancient Rome
Roman Art: The earliest Roman art is generally associated with the overthrow of the Etruscan kings and the establishment of the Republic in 509 BC. Copycats: While the traditional view of Roman artists is that they often borrowed from, and copied Greek precedents (much of the Greek sculpture known today is in the form of Roman marble copies), more recent analysis has indicated that Roman art is a highly creative pastiche relying heavily on Greek models but also encompassing Etruscan, native Italic, and even Egyptian visual culture. Stylistic eclecticism and practical application are the hallmarks of much Roman art.
Temple of “Fortuna Virilis” from Rome, Italy ca. 75 B.C.E.
Head of a Roman patrician ca. 75-50 B.C.E. marble approximately 1 ft. 2 in. high The surviving portraits of prominent Roman Republican figures appear to be literal reproductions of individual faces. Although their style derives to some degree form Hellenistic and Etruscan, and perhaps even Ptolemaic Egyptian, portraits, Republican portraits are one way the patrician class celebrated its elevated position in society. These patricians did not ask sculptors to make them appear nobler than they were. Instead, they requested brutally realistic images of distinctive features.
Portrait of a Roman General Tivoli, Italy ca. 75 - 50 B.C.E. marble 6 ft. 2 in. high It was also the practice in sculpture during the Republican period to place portrait heads on youthful, heroic bodies.
Dinarius with Portrait of Julius Caesar 44 B.C.E. silver 3/4 in. dictator perpetuus
Arch of Constantine Rome, Italy | ca. 312-315 C.E.
Arch of Constantine Rome, Italy ca. 312-315 C.E.
Remnants from the Colossal Statue of Constantine from the Basilica Nova, Rome, Italy ca. 315-330 C.E. marble head approximately 8 ft. 6 in. high The great head is carved in a typical, abstract, Constantinian of late Roman portrait statues, whereas the other body parts are naturalistic, even down to callused toes and bulging forearm veins.