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Ancient Rome Part 1


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Ancient Rome Part 1

  1. 1. Roman Art Art as demonstration of power Art as demonstration of power
  2. 2. Time period: 753 BCE – 410 CE So in other words… 8th century BCE – 5th century CE (We’re finally in the Common Era!)
  3. 3. New Vocabulary (to help you review) • Aqueduct: an overground water system • Ashlar masonry: carefully cut and grooved stones that support a building without the use of concrete or other kinds of masonry • Atrium (plural: atria): a courtyard in a Roman house or before a Christian church • Basilica: in Roman architecture, a large axially planned building with a nave, side aisles, and apses • Bust: a sculpture depicting a head, neck, and upper chest of a figure • Coffer: in architecture, a sunken panel in a ceiling • Cubiculum (plural: cubicula): a Roman bedroom flanking an atrium; in Early Christian art, a mortuary chapel in a catacomb • Cupola: a small dome rising over the roof of a building; in architecture, a cupola is achieved by rotating an arch on its axis • Encaustic: an ancient method of painting that uses colored waxes burned into a wooden surface • Foreshortening: a visual effect in which an object is shortened and turned deeper into the picture plane to give the effect of receding into space • Forum (plural: fora): a public square or market place in a Roman city • Fresco: a painting technique that involves applying water-based paint onto a freshly plastered wall. The paint forms a bond with the plaster that is durable and long lasting
  4. 4. New vocabulary continued… • • • • • • • • • Impluvium: a rectangular basin in a Roman house that is placed in the open-air atrium in order to collect rain water Keystone: the center stone of an arch that holds the others in place Oculus: a circular window in a church, or a round opening at the top of a dome Peristyle: an atrium surrounded by columns in a Roman house Perspective: depth and recession in a painting or relief sculpture. Objects shown in linear perspective achieve a three-dimensionality in the two-dimensional surface of the picture plane. All lines, called orthogonals, draw the viewer back in space to a common point (vanishing point). Sometimes there are multiple vanishing points. Landscapes that give the illusion of distance are in atmospheric or aerial perspective. Pier: a vertical support that holds up an arch or vault Spandrel: a triangular space enclosed by the curves of arches Vault: a roof constructed with arches. When an arch is extended into space, forming a tunnel, it is called a barrel vault. When two barrel vaults intersect at right angles, it’s called a groin vault. Veristic: sculptures from the Roman Republic characterized by extreme realism of facial features
  5. 5. KEY IDEAS ABOUT ROMAN ART • It reflects the ambitions of a powerful empire • Monumental buildings and sculptures reflect glory of gods and state • Architecture is revolutionary! – understood powers of arch, vault, and concrete • Pompeiian villas- give us a history of Roman painting • It shows an interest in the basic elements of perspective and foreshortening • The sculpture is greatly influenced by Greek models
  6. 6. Does Rome have a unique characteristic style of art? •Huge admiration for Greek art- had Greek art copied, original Roman art done in Greek style, many Roman artists were Greek in origin •Roman authors uninterested in art of their own time- never developed literature on the theory, history or criticism of art like the Greeks •We hear very little of specific artists who enjoyed individual fame •Probably looked upon their own time as a decline in art compared to Greece •Great majority of Roman art is unsigned- could have come from anywhere in Roman domain•Roman society very tolerant of alien traditions (if they did not threaten the security of the state) •Religion was not forced - many traditions of Etruscan, Near East, and Egyptians were absorbed into Roman culture- therefore Roman style is not consistentemergent styles existing side by side
  7. 7. To understand Roman art, we need to know the historical CONTEXT: •Rome rose to glory by diplomacy and military strength •Roman influence is still around (literature, art, law, etc.) •Rome was established by Romulus and Remus (a legend) •Rome was first ruled by kings and then replaced by a senate (an elected body of privileged Roman men) •Established a sort of democracy •Increased their fortunes and expanded their boundaries through war •Obsessed with Greek art •Because of the city of Pompeii, we know more about daily life in ancient Rome than we know about any other civilization in history
  8. 8. PATRONAGE and ARTISTIC LIFE in ancient Rome: • • • • • • • • Roman government and wealthy people = major patrons of the arts Spent lavishly on themselves and homes Dedicated to the general good of the arts Gave generously to public projects Huge workshops cranking out Greek-style works Romans built houses to impress and entertain Lavish interiors of homes (marble plumbing fixtures!) Interiors were grand domestic spaces that announced the importance of the owner • Artists = low on social scale (what?!)- treated poorly – many were slaves and never got credit for their work (whaaaaat?!??)
  9. 9. Let’s begin with ARCHITECTURE in ancient Rome…
  10. 10. INNOVATIONS IN ROMAN ARCHITECTURE • Romans were master builders • Built great roads and massive aqueducts – efficient way to connect cities and make areas livable • Temples = hymns to the gods, symbols of civic pride • Arenas – awed spectators (size and engineering are awesome) • Perfected the arch and used it a lot (not used much before) • Used concrete in constructing huge buildings – but they thought it was ugly, so they covered concrete structures in other materials (like marble) to make them more attractive
  11. 11. •Each wedge-shaped stone is smaller at the bottom and wider at the top – arch stands indefinitely because wide top can’t pass through narrow bottom •No mortar needed – shape of stones in arch supports structure
  12. 12. Arches can be extended into space to form a continuous tunnel-like BARREL VAULT
  13. 13. Groin vault Groin vault SPANDREL SPANDREL PIER •When two barrel vaults intersect, a larger, more open space is formed called a GROIN VAULT •Groin vault can be supported by only four PIERS, rather than requiring a continuous wall space that a barrel vault needs •Space between piers = SPANDRELS
  14. 14. Pont du Gard, Nimes, France, early 1st century BC
  15. 15. •ASHLAR MASONRY: carefully cut and grooved stones that support a structure without concrete, mortar, etc. •Aqueduct brought water to city of Nimes •Roman cities had large populations because of their ability to bring water to city centers •Heavy, squat arches at bottom level •Thinner arches at second level •Lighter rhythm of smaller arches on top level, which carries the water of the aqueducts
  16. 16. view from top of Pont du Gard (Smolinski cam)
  17. 17. Smolinski cam
  18. 18. Arch of Constantine, 312-315 CE, Rome, Italy
  19. 19. •Built to commemorate Constantine’s victory over Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312 CE •Friezes and sculpture taken from monuments to older emperors: Trajan, Hadrian, Marcul Aurelius – Constantine draws parallel between their accomplishments and his •New friezes done in situ •Placed at this location so that the central arch would, at a distance, frame a 100foot-tall statue of the Sun god, Sol
  20. 20. look what’s next door
  21. 21. •rejection of classical ideal in contemporary sculpture •heads too large for bodies, squat figures, lack of space •large eyes, frontal stare, mechanical and repeated stances and gestures •shallow relief •heads not distinguished from one another
  22. 22. frieze medalions
  23. 23. Basilica Nova (Basilica of Constantine) c.306-312 CE, Rome
  24. 24. (this is what’s left) once housed giant sculpture of Constantine
  25. 25. •Largest roofed interior in all of Rome •BASILICA: large, axially planned building with nave, side aisles, and apses •NAVE = the center tract •CLERISTORY: upper part of nave with large windows to let light in •Large windows possible because groin vaults helped distribute weight •long halls that served civic purposes- standard feature of every Roman town- usually held the courts Reconstruction drawing of the Basilica of Constantine
  26. 26. COFFER = sunken panel in a ceiling – prevents the weight of ceiling from cracking walls beneath it- lightens load •Massive building with great windows for maximum light •Large groin-vaulted main isle •Barrel-vaulted and COFFERED side aisles •Begun by Constantine’s rival, Maxentius; completed by Constantine
  27. 27. The Colosseum, Rome, 72-80 BC
  28. 28. •Fine balance between vertical and horizontal elements •Enormous amphitheater for gladiator games-in the center of Rome •One of the largest single buildings in history •Efficient-meant to serve large amount of human traffic (seated 50,000 people) •Utilizes barrel vaults, groin vaults, and arches
  29. 29. Flattened Corinthian Corinthian Tuscan Ionic •ENGAGED COLUMNS, series of arches •Three classical orders are used- TUSCAN is on the ground floor (Tuscan = unfluted with severe Doric-style capitals) •Ionic on second level •Corinthian on levels 3 and 4 -lightening of the proportions, but its barely noticeable •Each type of column thought of as lighter than the order below it
  30. 30. •Above squared windows at top level are small brackets – to hold flagstaffs- anchors for retractable canvas roof used to protect crowd from hot sun •Much of the marble was removed in the Middle Ages •Real name = Flavian Amphitheater •Concrete core, brick casting, travertine facing •76 entrances and exits circle the façade •Meant for wild and dangerous spectacles – gladiator combat, animal hunts, naval battles (not for religious persecution, as legend says)
  31. 31. original appearance (notice canvas roof)
  32. 32. Check out the Academy Awardwinning “Spartacus” (1960). Smolinski two thumbs up the floor was flooded for “naval battles” (entertainment) Gladiators entertained audiences in violent fights with other gladiators, wild animals, and condemned criminals. Most were slaves, trained in harsh conditions, and socially rejected.
  33. 33. Market of Trajan, 100-112 CE, Rome
  34. 34. •Original market had 150 shops •Multi-level mall •Semicircular building held several levels of shops •Main space groin-vaulted •Barrel-vaulted shops •Brick and concrete, marble floors
  35. 35. Ever play “Assassin’s Creed”? If you do, you can play in the Market of Trajan!
  36. 36. Market of Trajan 100-112 CE Market of Trajan Today
  37. 37. Maison Carree, c. 1 CE, Nimes, France
  38. 38. •Corinthian capitals •Set on high podium •Front entrance emphasized •Walls of cella (main room) pushed out to meet the engaged columns, interior expanded to the maximum size allowed beyond the porch •Greek style with Roman adaptationsentrance indicated by flight of stairs, larger interior
  39. 39. •Used as a model for Jefferson’s State Capitol in Richmond, Virgina
  40. 40. Ara Pacis, 13-9 BCE, ROME
  41. 41. •Altar of Augustan Peace •Exhibits the virtues of peace and its long-lasting effects on society as a whole •Built after Augustus’s return from Gaul •Original altar located so that Egyptian obelisk set in a giant sundial pointed to the open door on the first day of fall
  42. 42. •Two-tier friezes run along walls •Portray the peace and fertile prosperity enjoyed as a result of the peace brought to Rome by Augustus’ military supremacy Detail of the Processional Frieze showing members of the senate
  43. 43. Processional frieze showing Augustus as high priest of Processional frieze showing Augustus as high priest of Rome, accompanied by members of his family Rome, accompanied by members of his family
  44. 44. The museum that houses Ara Pacis looks……kinda like Ara Pacis!
  45. 45. Temple of Portunus (aka: Temple of Fortuna Virilis) 1st century BCE, Rome •Suggests Greek influence following Roman conquest of Greece in 146 BCE (Ionic columns)- but not copy of Greek •Etruscan elements- high podium, deep porch, wide cella, but cella is not subdivided into 3 partsnow a unified space •Needed large interiors for images of deity and for display of trophies (statues, weapons) brought back by conquering army •Served as a model temple type and is found in Italy and all around the empire
  46. 46. Common Plan for Roman Temples
  47. 47. •Combined Greek elements with ancient Roman peasant hut design •Became model for round style of Roman temples •Much of the structure is built with CONCRETE!!! •Concrete was used in the near east, but never for architecture •Concrete structure was faced with stone, marble •The facades have worn away so Roman ruins are less attractive than Greek’s Temple of Vesta, early 1st century BCE, Tivoli, Italy
  48. 48. •Located in the acropolis of the city of Tivoli •Not sure who it was dedicated to (Vesta?) •Corinthian order, circular cella •raised on a high brick podium covered in travertine •cella has door and two windows •frieze- carved garlands and flowers
  49. 49. Sanctuary of Fortuna Primigenia, 1st century BCE East of Rome- dedicated to Fortuna (Fate)- a goddess • unearthed through bombings in 1944 •ramps and terraces lead to a colonnaded court, flight of stairs like a Greek theater, arched openings framed by engaged columns and entablatures, barrel vaults •all surfaces now are of concrete- fits into the hillside- architecture seems to grow from rock- comparable to New Kingdom in Egypt
  50. 50. flight of stairs like Greek theater
  51. 51. Model of Fortuna •Magnificent sacred complex •Six terraces built on sloped land •Oracular place of worship with a sacred well and a statue of goddess Fortuna nursing Jupiter and Juno •Fortuna = goddess of motherhood/fertility •The site of an oracle (tells future, consulting with gods)
  52. 52. Project for winter break? Model made of Legos! Doesn’t it blow your mind?
  53. 53. Pantheon, Rome, 118-125 CE •Round style temple dedicated to all the gods •Inscription: “Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, having been consul three times, built it.” •Corinthian capital porch •Façade has two pediments- one deeply recessed behind other •From the outside, the cella looks like a simple cylindrical drum •Not as impressive today- the modern streets of Rome are a great deal higher than they were in ancient times - the steps up to the porch are now submerged in pavement •The interior is far more impressive f
  54. 54. CUPOLA walls- 20 feet thick at base Cupola = a dome rising over the roof of a building – achieved by rotating an arch on its axis •Square panels in floor and coffers contrast with roundness of walls •Coffers may have been filled with rosette designs to simulate stars
  55. 55. •Oculus is 27 feet across- allows for sunlight and air- acts as moving spotlight across the interior •Height of building equals its width; interior based on the circle •Walls have several NICHES for statues of the gods (indents in the wall) •Thickness of walls thinned at top; coffers take some weight pressure off walls •Triumph of concrete construction •Was heavily decorated
  56. 56. •Interior is more impressive •Use of arches led to huge, uninterrupted interior spacesused in baths (centers of Roman society •Dome is a true hemisphere, emits plenty of light •Everything is perfectly balanced •Base had to be made much heavier than the top •Weight rests on 8 wide pillarsthis allows for niches around the side •Inside of dome was originally gold gilt Interior of the Pantheon by Pannini C.1740
  57. 57. Hadrian’s Villa, 125-128 CE, Tivoli, Italy •Huge complex for the delight of Emperor Hadrian (he didn’t like living in the main palace in Rome, so he built this retreat) •High quality workmanship •Comprised of over 30 buildings (250 acres)- much is still unexcavated •Included gardens, palaces, theater, temples, library, state room, living quarters, baths
  58. 58. •CANOPUS: a colonnade with a cornice connecting the tops of columns •Alternated rounded with flattened lines; sculptures placed inside the rounded arches •Framing a reflecting pool
  59. 59. •Domes of steam baths have circular holes on top- allows steam to escape -reminiscent of Parthenon, also built by Hadrian •Network of underground tunnels- for transport of goods by servants
  60. 60. Aula Palatina, early 4th century CE, Trier, Germany
  61. 61. •Solid brick, plain audience hall once covered with marble on interior •Semicircular triumphal arch in apse •Basilican architectural plan inspired Christian churches in Middle Ages •Hall is heated by HYPOCAUSTa space under the floor that retained heat from a furnace •Large windows used lead to bind glass panes together •Built by Constantine •Today it is used as an Evangelical church
  62. 62. BUTTRESSES arch as two-story arches embrace windows Buttress = a projecting support of stone or brick built against a wall.
  63. 63. •Forums of Rome - Julius Caesar planned a similar scaled project in Rome •Caesar’s Forums were a combination religious shrine and personal glorification •Became the model of all imperial forums, although nothing remains today of any of them Plan of the Forums, Rome
  64. 64. Poor Pompeii at least in 79 CE •City Layout •Individual Houses •Mosaics •Murals
  65. 65. Pompeii, Italy Explosion by Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD buried Pompeii Forum • Large rectangular public square in center of town • Surrounded by a colonnade • Temple of Jupiter- focus of forum • Surrounding the forum are the buildings that housed the business, government and religious activities of Pompeii
  66. 66. Forum at Pompeii c. 79 AD FORUM = public square or marketplace in a Roman city
  67. 67. Pompeii Roman Houses • Faced inward • Interiors lit from ATRIUM (courtyard), few windows on exterior • Atrium- opening for rainwater to fall in the IMPLUVIUM (water collection) • Columns surround impluvium • Interiors of rooms are painted • Shops are outside the house facing the street • Windows are small and limited in number • Interior rather than exterior emphasized
  68. 68. Models of what Pompeii looked like…
  69. 69. House of the Vettii (reconstruction), 2 nd -1st century BCE, Pompeii, Italy -a villa (country house) – combined family living with farm facilities
  70. 70. 1. fauces (entrance corridor) 2. impluvium (rain basin) 3. atrium (main entry room) 4. tablinum (study) 5. ala (side room) 6. lararium (household shrine) 7. culina (kitchen) 8. triclinium (dining room) 9. oecus (reception room)10. peristylium (peristyle colonnade)11. viridarium (pleasure-garden)12. cubiculum (bedroom) Here is a floor plan, adapted from the house of the Vettii, to give a general notion of the layout of a typical Roman house.
  71. 71. •Narrow entrance to the house sandwiched between several shops •Large reception area (ATRIUM) – open to sky with impluvium in center •CUBICULA (bedrooms) radiate around atrium •PERISTYLE (atrium surrounded by columns) garden in rear •Garden has fountain, statuary, more bedroomsprivate area of house •Axial symmetry- someone entering house can see through to garden in rear •Exterior lacks windows •Interior lighting comes from atrium and peristyle
  72. 72. Atrium of the House of the Vettii, Pompeii, Italy
  73. 73. Domestic Architecture-•Single family house was called a Domus- for wealthy Romans •Each had an atrium, square central hall lighted by an opening in the roof •Silver Wedding- atrium flanked by Corinthian columns, basin to collect rain water in the center •Atriums were used for keeping family portraits of family ancestors •Further rooms were attached to the back of the house as well as clustered around the atrium •All shut off from the street with windowless walls Atrium, House of the Silver Wedding Pompeii, 1st century CE
  74. 74. Pompeii mosaics…
  75. 75. Ixion Room, 70 CE, fresco, Pompeii •Fresco, linear perspective, atmospheric perspective •Decorated in red and white •Ixion murdered his father-in-law and planned to seduce Hera – prevented by Zeus •Zeus made cloud in shape of Hera, Ixion fathers race of centaurs with “Hera cloud” •Zeus struck him with a thunderbolt and ordered him to be tied to a wheel in hell •Strong classical Greek influence in the contrapposto, heroic musculature, and Greek themes •Foreshortening •On top, architectural vistas that do not align to a single viewpoint •Thin delicate motifs alternate with framed mythological scenes
  76. 76. This would have looked like this
  77. 77. Dionysiac Mystery Frieze c. 60-50 BCE Fresco in Villa of Mysteries, Pompeii •In one room of a 90-room mansion •Exact meaning unclear- might show initiation rites of a novice into the cult of Dionysos •God Dionysos in center, drunk, in lap of wife •Figures act out rituals and rites on narrow green stage before Pompeian red walls that propel them close to the picture plane •Figures modeled convincingly, contrapposto
  78. 78. Figures interact with each other on adjacent walls