29 roman political art


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  • Julia and her two son – were the heirs of the throne – died before they could fill out their requirement
  • Senators – their faces are shown in a different artistic style, more individualized face. These heads were recarved during the uncovering in the Renaissance.
  • Augustus’ art seems to all follow the same rules. This is a cameo carved from a piece of Onix – it is a bridge from Augustus to his successor Tiberius. It is seven by nine inches. Likely that this was a gift from Augustus to one of his allies or friends. Augustus had a court jewel maker – Dioskourides. The process of making it is that the onix had multiple layers and colors – the white layer was steadily removed to reveal the black layer for the background. A nude male is sitting with a Classical woman – 5 th century style, and a group of figures watching the crowning. Seems to be Augustus with a group of gods, receiving a crown. The crowning woman is identified as Oikoumeme – the civilized world. Bearded man could represent Oceanus, while the baby represents Tellus, earth. Showing different representations of earth watching Augustus crowning. The figure in the chariot, with victory at his side is presumably Tiberius. The central woman is the personification of Rome – Roma. This was not intended for a Western Roman audience who would not have accepted Augutus’ becoming a diety, however the eastern part of the empire is thought to have worshipped him before his death. The bottom half shows men lifting a trophy – or a monument that is erected on the battlefield after a victory, to be left behind. Basically a log with armor and clothing it it. Two captives are at the bottom, wild hair – Barbarians. They are being tied up to the trophy. To the right shows a man wearing a travelers hat – Mercury, and Diana, the goddess of the hunt – she holds a spear. She is grabbing a woman by the hair, and the captive figure is reaching for her legs, as a sign of begging for mercy. The circular sign at the top is capricorn – for the month of the year that Augustus was born, the signs change over time.
  • The Julio-Claudians – successors of Augustus. They reigned through 68 CE. No one thought that he could do the job of being emperor because he had a speech impediment and a disability to where he could not walk well. He was seen as defective – however, he was seen as scholarly. At the time, they wanted to put someone in control that they could control, but he ends up being stronger that the other emperors. The head appears to be veristic, but the body is idealistic. He has the eagle beside him – must have been diefied because he is barefoot. This is a triumph of style over reality.
  • After Nero is killed during a period of Chaos, there is a new family that comes in to take over the city in 69 – there were four emperors, but Vespasian takes over and establishes the Flavian dynasty. Uses a more Veristic style (the Roman traditional style) to break from the previous classical style of Augustus.
  • Titus does not rule for very long. He is not being portrayed as a special person, but as a Senator trying to be persuasive about a law. The idea of first among equals.
  • Domitian – built the arch of Titus, bad apple of the Flavian – and was assassinated. The next rulers take a different approach to the idea of succession. They adopt the most likely boy of the next generation as their son so they will be next in line. Works well, and becomes known as the period of the Five Good Emperors. 98-138 reign – they had very long reigns – there was not much pressure from outsiders – things were never this good again for the Roman empire. Trajan adopts Hadrian, showing a more idealized and individualized characteristics. Trajan was a lover of Greek culture – a Philhellene, he had been a governor of the province of Greece, and grew a beard. The first Roman emperor to do so since Julius Caesar. In the art, there is much more interest in carvings of the beards and hair. They began the trend of beards among rulers.
  • This would have been set up around the city – preserved because it was thought to have been Constantine. This is an example of the types of sculptures that would have been set up around the city.
  • It was gilded – he was shown to be in armor ready for battle. Proportions emphasize the emperor. The horse has its right leg up, and Marcus has his right leg out. The original version is thought to have shown a prisoner cowering at the feet of the horse, begging for mercy – which he was being granted. Marcus was a philhellene and interested in Greek philosophy, the idea of mercy was important to him.
  • The head showing the volume given to his hair. The pupils and irises are style to give more life and vitality to the figure.
  • His son Commodus – his biological son, Marcus breaks the tradition of adopting a worthy successor – making a mistake. Commodus considered himself to be a Hercules, and fought in gladitorial battle. He along with other bad emperors, after they died, the Senate decided to never speak of them, and issued a with Damnatio Memoriae – a damnation, removing him from the Roman memory, erasing his name, etc. In this sculpture, he is holding apples, in reference to the story where Hercules held up the world for Atlas. There are two kneeling amazons supporting him.
  • Steps in after Commodus – a general from North Africa. He was not a member of the family, but claimed that he had been adopted into it, being Commodus’ brother. His traits reflect that – the curls and the beard, etc. He persuades the lifting of the Damnatio on Commodus – this is why art works survived.
  • Bronze sculpture – from the eastern part of the empire. Being portrayed in the Greek style of the heroic nude so he could be worshipped.
  • His wife is Julia Domna – wearing a wig: Classical, Idealized style. Carries out the idea of the imperial family being a model for Rome.
  • Shows a family portrait of Septimius, Julia with the wig, and their two sons. One of the sons faces is taken out. Emperors had a time figuring out succession. He had two sons, only a year apart named Caracalla and Geta. On his tenth anniversary in 203, he makes his sons his two co-emperors, and Septimius dies in 211, leaving his sons in succession. Caracalla has his brother killed, and a Damnatio placed on him. This is a political tool and a counter to the political uses of art.
  • The empire became increasingly chaotic and went into decline – the economy was in shambles, the currency had to be devalued, and there was constant pressure from the Northern Germans. Between 230 and 280, there were 16 emperors – an average of 3 years per emperor. Different legions and different parts of the empire are claiming their own leaders, fighting with each other, and attempting to maintain the borders. They are called the military emperors, those that rose up in the military – for the first time, emperors are seen that are not from the imperial family, and they are able to impress their ideals on the empire. They were not born in Rome, and had never been to Rome – some of them never got to Rome once they were emperor because they were too busy dealing with problems on the frontier. Trebonianus Gallus was an emperor for two years – an emphasis on his musculature and strength, and his dead was out of proportion. Hard to maintain previous standards of sculpture during chaos.
  • Cast in bronze, hair was done after by incising marks into the surface. Has an intense expression, looking off to the side. The art is clearly reflecting a lot of the problems of the period.
  • 29 roman political art

    1. 1. ARTH 2402 Classical Art and Archaeology
    2. 2. South side, Family procession
    3. 3. South side, Family procession
    4. 4. North side, Senators ’ procession
    5. 5. Gemma Augustea, ca. 10 CE
    6. 6. Gemma Augustea ca. 10 CE
    7. 7. Claudius as Jupiter Rome after 54 CE
    8. 8. Vespasian Rome 69-79 CE
    9. 9. Titus 79-81 CE
    10. 10. Trajan and Hadrian
    11. 11. Marcus Aurelius equestrian statue Rome 164-166 CE
    12. 12. Marcus Aurelius equestrian statue, Rome, 164-166 CE
    13. 13. Marcus Aurelius equestrian statue Rome 164-166 CE
    14. 14. Commodus as Hercules Rome 180-190 CE
    15. 15. Septimius Severus, ca. 200-210 CE
    16. 16. Septimius Severus Nicosia, Cyprus ca. 200-210 CE
    17. 17. Julia Domna ca. 193-210 CE
    18. 18. Severan family portrait, Fayum, Egypt, ca. 195-200 CE
    19. 19. Trebonianus Gallus 251-253 CE
    20. 20. Trebonianus Gallus 251-253 CE
    21. 21. The Tetrarchs Venice ca. 305 CE
    22. 22. The Tetrarchs, Venice, ca. 305 CE
    23. 23. The Tetrarchs, Venice, ca. 305 CE
    24. 24. The Tetrarchs Vatican ca. 300 CE
    25. 25. Basilica of Maxentius, 306-313 CE
    26. 26. Basilica of Maxentius, 306-313 CE
    27. 27. Basilica of Maxentius, 306-313 CE
    28. 28. Basilica of Maxentius, 306-313 CE
    29. 29. Constantine, 313 CE
    30. 30. Constantine, 313 CE
    31. 31. Constantine, 313 CE
    32. 32. Warrior ’s grave Areopagos Athens ca. 900-850 (EGI)
    33. 33. Warrior ’s grave Piraeus ca. 900-850 (EGI)
    34. 34. Rich woman ’s grave, Agora, Athens, ca. 850 (EGII)
    35. 35. Granaries? Rich woman ’s grave, Agora, Athens, ca. 850 (EGII)
    36. 36. Jewelry Rich woman ’s grave, Agora, Athens, ca. 850 (EGII)