Italy – general area of Tuscany – called Etruria.
They descended from Villanovans (people from central Europe) and before that from early Bronze Age peoples that had occupied Italy since 3000 BC
Villanovan people brought Iron Age culture to Italian Peninsula around f1000 BC
Etruscans emerge around 8th century BC. This was about the same time that the Greeks first began to settle along the Southern shores of Italy and Sicily.
Greek Classical historian Herodotos claimed (this claim now disputed) that the Etruscans (“Tyrrhenoi” to Greeks) had left their homeland in Lydia in Asia Minor about 1200 BC. They settled in area between Florence and Rome- that area was called (Rasenna” by the Etruscans and called “Etruria” by the Romans, and now it is called Tuscany (“Tuscany”-the country of the “Tusci” or “Etrusci”)
Etruscans did have strong links to Asia Minor and the ancient Near East, both culturally and artistically.
Flowering of Etruscans also due to influx of Greek culture
End of 8th century – Etruscans borrowed Greek alphabet.
Still, the Etruscan language is unique – no relationship to any known tongue.
Only Etruscan writings are brief – some funerary inscriptions and some texts relating to religious ritual.
Claudius (Roman author) tells of rich Etruscan literature – but it has vanished
Our primary knowledge of them from their tombs – very elaborate tombs – unmolested by the Romans – very elaborate tombs
Romans occupied later and rebuilt their cities – Romans did not disturb tombs of Etruscans.
TOMBS: In Italian Bronze Age – modest burials. Remains of dead put in pottery vessel or cinerary urn – then vessel put in pit with items such as weapons for men and jewelry or domestic items for women.
In Myceneaen Greece – the cult of the dead
Became more elaborate – due to Egyptian influence
Myceneans built large beehive tombs.
Similarly in Tuscany during Orientalizing influence (influence of East around 750 – 575 BC) around 700 BC the Etruscans began to imitate interiors of dwellings in stone for their tombs. These stone tombs covered with large, conical mounds of earth – called TUMULUS TOMBS.
Tombs were roofed by vaults or corbelled domes built of horizontal overlapping courses of stone blacks (such as Treasury of Atreus)
Colossal sized mounds with diameters over 130 ft.
At this time (around 700 BC) pottery urns took on human shape – cinerary urns – held ashes of the deceased after the rite of cremation.
Lid took shape of head of deceased – urns became substitute for the body of the deceased.
Body markings on vessel itself – anthropomorphic
Arms and hands for handles of urn, even features like nipples
Syrian influence – North Syrian sculpture
Etruscan sailors frequented part of Al Mina in Syria
If vessel placed on throne that indicated high rank
Found in Tombs:
Wealth exhibited in goldsmiths’ work. These gold objects possibly made by the Phoenicians which traded with Etruscans and had peace agreements with Etruscans.
Also precious objects imported from the Near East.
Etruscans peaked around 7th – 6th century BC
At that time their fleet dominated the western Mediterranean and protected large commercial empire that competed with Greeks and Phoenicians – territory spread from Naples in South to Po Valley in north.
Never formed unified nation (same as Greeks) just loose federation of individual city-states-guarnelled (spelling?)
Slow to unite against enemies.
474 BC – navy of archrival Syracuse defeated them
Late 5th & 4th century – Etruscan cities fell to Romans. Etruscan kings ruled Rome for a century until Roman Republic established in 510 BC.
By 270 BC all Etruscan cities had fallen
Lost independence although by evidence of tombs th3ey still had prospered. Did lose political power.
Tombs and Decoration
Cult of dead flourished even as Etruscans were influenced by Archaic Greek art.
Etruscans kept their won style and rituals too.
Sarophagi – very elaborate
Shaped like couches with deceased shown full length reclining on lid.
As if at feast – but unlike Greek symposium where only men were allowed (except for courtesans.) Eturscan feasts expanded to include the whole family – Greeks surprised at relative freedom and stature of women in Etruria.
Here husband and wife recline in affectionate embrace
Joyous archaic smile
Terra cotta (clay) was painted in bright colors, cast in four directions and then joined.
Wife appears to have been applying funeral oil to husband’s left hand (she had held alabastron _now missing – in her right hand) – this was typical Etruscan rite.
Soft modeling rather than chiseled carving of Archaic Greeks at this time – less formal
Does share the Greek Archaic features such as almond-shaped eyes, archaic smile, Egyptian hair stylization
Much more warm and affectionate than archaic Greek sculptures
Displays warm bond between couple
Deceased shown as alive, joyous and animated
Tomb to house body and soul
Tomb of Hunting and Fishing
Wall painting – at this time, kind of fresco
Painting on a thin slip applied to living rock wall or on a stucco paste made from ground rock. Colors used were red, black, blues, green to ochre- these colors harmonized with the creamy warm yellow ground of the wall.
Tombs decorated with colorfully animated scenes of nature.
Also reflected life and joy – dancing dolphins (like Exelxias black – figure ???
“Kionysus on a Boat”)
Dolphins and birds – free, rhythmic movement
Possible influence of Egyptians and reminiscent of Minoans 1000 yrs earlier
Successful placement of human figures in natural setting
Despite enchanted feeling, some ominous quality – giant hunter with slingshot shoots at birds and they scatter
Possibly represents “demon of death” character that appears in other Etruscan murals.
LATER FUNERARY BELIEFS
During 5th century BC – Etruscan view of hereafter became more complex and less optimistic – maybe Greek influence as seeing death as an uncertain divide between life and death – not a continuation of life on a new plane.
Youth and Demon of Death: cinerary container carved from soft local stone soon after 400 BC. Here woman sits on opposite side of man at foot of couch. She is his wife but she is a demon of death – you can see her wings. The scroll in her left hand records the fate of the deceased. The young man points to her. She (as death) is his fate.
More thoughtful and melancholy than previous funerary art by Etruscans.
Influence of more somber classical Greek art.
Reflect uncertainly and regret in face of death – man is tiny and helpless in face of supernatural forces beyond his control.
Cinerary Urn from Volterra – 2nd century BC – 33” high – carved from alabaster
After 2nd half of 4th century – in workshops of Volterra, a new cinerary urn developed.
Receptacle in high relief (below figure) this shows way to hereafter on Chariot drawn by mules – accompanied by horsemen and servants – this is a funeral procession – chariot held Sarcophagus inside.
Top – woman in reclining attitude of banqueter. Wearing her jewelry – she holds fan and pomegranate – symbolic imagery – pomegranate symbolic of immortality.
Tombs in this area cut out of live rock – Tufa – a strongly compressed volcanic ash that is easily excavated and hardens to a concrete consistency when exposed to air.
Even (as in home) beds, chairs and footstools cut out of tufa rock.
As in Etruscan tradition – tombs here were modeled after Etruscan tombs. This is a family burial site – several generations
Here walls decorated with stucco relief instead of wall paintings – all over walls there are reliefs of weapons, armor, household items and domestic animals meant to underscore connection between the living and dead.
Also busts of the deceased
New them introduced:
Fearful demons battle the benevolent spirits for soul of deceased – precursor to the Last Judgment scene in Medieval Art.
Demons appear in relief in this tomb.
On back wall – snake-legged demon and three-headed hound Cerberus – guardian of the infernal regions – disquieting monster demons develop
Maybe these had robe like Medusa (gorgon) on temple of Artemis at Corfu (Greece 600-580 BC central portion of west pediment.)
Etruscan Temples – built of wood – only foundations remain – probably for religious reasons
Similar to simple Greek temples
North/south axis instead of East/West axis of Greek temples
Distinctive features (later used by Romans)
Structure rests on tall base or podium that is no wider than the cella
Sides of temple are plain – more focus on front porch (steps on south side) entrance
Also more emphasis on interior rather than elaborate exterior view of Greek temples.
Large porch in front supported by 2 rows of columns – 4 per row
Columns were wood, resembled Doric columns but they were fluted and had bases.
Cella is divided into 3 sections representative of a triad of gods (for later Romans these gods were Juno, Jupiter and Minerva (Zeus, Herra, and Athena)
Decoration usually limited to terra cotta plaques covering architrave and edge of roof
Statuettes on roof
After 400 BC there are occasionally large-scale terra cotta sculptures in pediment above porch.
Example of terra cotta plaque – mould made
Male and female faces – after 400 BC terra cotta groups on pediment but less often than in Greece.
Here at edge of roofing – concealed extremities of convex tiles
Roof – gabled – terra cotta tiles
Wide overhang to protect temple
Wooden structures gone – terra cotta tiles and ornaments tell us much about the temples, along with the stone foundation
Tiled roof protected the perishable wooden or mud brick building blacks below
Half-round “cover” times protected the first layer of flat “pan” tiles
The end of a row of half-round cover tiles was capped with a terra cotta centivix
An array of other terra cotta fitting protected important beams and joints. Plaques covered longitudinal beams, gutters or simas drew off rainwater.
Apollo, from Veii – an early attempt to place monumental sculpture on exterior of temple
Bold attempt at large figurative sculpture
Veii – north of Rome
This temple had 4 life-size terra cotta figures on ridge of roof.
They represented a scene what was a contest between Hercules and Apollo for sacred female deer – other deities were there to witness the struggle.
The figure of Apollo:
Excellent example of Etruscan Archaic sculpture
Massive body under folds of garment
Stature like large giant – awkward but dynamic and more animated than Greek Archaic counterpart.
Muscular leg thrusts forward in bold stride – expressive power.
Terra cotta – additive process molding, allowed greater flexibility than carving.
Bronze she-wolf (caste) – made by Etruscan master sculptor
Twins below made in Renaissance and added
Myth of Romulus and Remus – this myth spread by Virgil and Livy and others during time of Augustus (30 BC) to legitimize his reign
According to myth – Rome founded in 753 BC by 2 brothers – Romulus and Remus – they were descendents of refugees from Troy
They were nourished by she-wolf after they were abandoned
History of this statue debated but probably it was an Etruscan Archaic original
Ferocious expression of wolf
She-wolf symbol has links to Etruscan mythology.
Example of mastery the Etruscans had with metalwork
Chimera from Arezzo – bronze monster
Rough maned-lions head – serpent head on tail – goats head as second head on back – fire breathing
Story of Chimera – one of first “hero slays fire-breathing monster” myths
Chimera slain by the hero
Bellerophon (prince of Corinth)
Bellerophon slew the Chimera with aid of Athena – she helped him harness the power of Pegasus (winged horse in Greek myth). Armed with spear of lead – lanced Chimera in mouth – lead turned molten and monster suffocated to death.
Demonic significance of Chimera and other monsters
Etruscans had developed a demonology
Much of this type of art associated with mortuary rituals
Developed demons that plagued the dead in the underworld
Greeks tried to humanize demons
Etruscans (under Asian roots and influences) represented demons as dreadful animal hybrids
Precedents for this
Egyptian sphinx and animal headed gods
Ammut – the devourer of those who commit evil deeds and can’t enter afterlife – part crocodile (head), lion (body and legs), and hindquarters of a hippopotamus – all ferocious beasts
Assyrian lamassu – winged bull or lion with human head
Minotaur – head of bull and body of man
Etruscan – from interest in individual images of deceased – led to early interest in portraiture – this tradition continued on in roman times (portrait busts)
Around 300 BC – influence of Greek portraiture – led to individual likenesses in Etruscan sculpture, especially in heads of bronze statures
Portrait of a Boy:
Masterpiece – high-quality of casting and finishing – Etruscans famous as metal-workers
Long standing fame – wealth of Etruria founded on exploitation of copper and iron deposits
From 6th century BC on they produced large numbers of statuettes, mirrors, etc. for domestic use and export
Mirrors – engraved the backs with scenes of Greek myths – the loves of Gods popular theme
Amorous themes on mirrors that are objects of self-admiration (Narcissus, beautiful youth that fell in love with his own reflection in a pool)
Mirrors – this one done soon after 400 BC
This them not just a Greek myth!
Undulating wreath of vines circles a winged old man that is the seer Khalchas (reference to Greek seer Halcha in Homer’s Iliad)
He examines a roundish object – a liver of a sacrificed animal
Etruscans practiced Divination – search for omens – will of gods expressed through signs in the natural world, things like thunderstorms or the flight of birds
Priests would observe flights of birds from the front porch of the temple
By reading the signs – could discover approval or disapproval of their acts
Priests that knew this secret language enjoyed great prestige – even Romans consulted them before important events.
Divination (as Romans said was the art of interpreting signs) – traced back tot ancient Mesopotamia
Greeks practiced it too, but not to same extent as Etruscans did
Livers of sacrificed animals – thought gods inscribed messages on them – liver as a microcosm and divided up into sections that related to the 16 regions of the sky
Mirrors also valued for ability to reveal future
Flights of birds – foretold future events
Word “auspicious” – ???by a good or a favorable “allspice”
“auspice” – 1) observation by diviner of omens of flight or feeding of birds or
2) prophetic or favorable sign
Roman Civilization – familiar to us – left vast amounts of literature, history, poetry, philosophy
Built many monuments through Roman Empire. Empire spread from England to the Persian Gulf; from Spain to Romania
Romans wiped out Etruscan culture from 2nd – 3rd centuries BC
After death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC, Rome began its rise to power in the Mediterranean
Roman history – 2 parts
1. Republican Times 509 – 27 BC
2. Empire 27 BC – 395 AC
Emperor Augustus (reigned 27 BC – 14 AC_ established a tradition of arts patronage and promoted a revival of Athenian style throughout his empire
In Roman times Greek classical art was thought the greatest art – Augustus embraced Greek art to prove Roman cultural superiority
Romans imported Greek art originals. Also made copies of Greek art.
Many artists of Greek origin – most art unsigned, but Greek artists clearly Romanized
Romans wrote more about Greek art than Roman art (with the exception of Vitruvius – wrote treatise on architecture)
Greek artists mentioned by Romans: Polykleitus, Pheidias, Praxiteles, Lysippos
What was “Roman” art besides “Greek art under Roman rule”?
Roman art – still had own character
Most important contributions were architecture and portraiture
Also absorbed other influences: Etruscan (mostly) and Egyptian Near Eastern influences
Roman Art – not clear style – complex mixture: Roman Society in its conquest of other cultures – did impose law and order, but was a bit of a “melting pot” that assimilated other cultures’ local gods and sages – people in distant regions could get Roman citizenship.
True Arch – made of Voussoirs (voo swars) – wedge shaped blocks that point toward the center of a semi-circular opening – strong and self-sustaining
Arch – curved structure used to span an opening center keystone or crown
True arch was developed in Egypt in 2700 BC – not used in temples. Mesopotamia and Greece also used true arch but only in very functional structures – not in temples
Impost – a block, capital or moulding from with an arch spring
Keystone – uppermost or crown
Crown – extrados, intrados
Groin vault – two barrel vaults that intersect at right angles bay
Barrel vault – Half cylinder structure made of successive arches
Roman architecture – dwarfs other ancient civilizations’ achievements
Roads, bridges, aqueducts, baths, theaters, forums, palaces, monuments, walls
From Scotland to Iraq
Across more than 30 modern nations
Emphasis on meeting needs of large public (water to entertainment) and military and political requirements
More functional than other great ancient civilizations – more emphasis on use of interior for large crowds – less emphasis on exterior of structures.
Freely borrowed from Etruscan and Greek architecture – unencumbered by lofty artistic ideals – more motivated by political, military, economic and social concerns.
Built on large scale – more functional new forms needed – cheaper and faster
1) Concrete invented earlier by several other ancient civilizations – traditional mixture was sand, lime, and water. Invented in Near East more than 10-00 yrs earlier
Roman substituted a dark red volcanic ash called pozzolana for sand in concrete recipe – made extremely strong building material that was excellent for bridges and port structures because it hardened with contact with water.
When the mixture was mixed with gravel, it took on characteristics of rock
This Roman concrete made it possible to build massive vaults and walls- could cover vast spaces
This use of material eliminated need to quarry, transport and cut rock (except for marble facing over concrete) – could make concrete on building site with unskilled laborers.
Facing over concrete – brick, stone, marble or plaster – today the decorative skin that once covered Roman structures are gone.
2) Structural innovations:
Arch and vault systems
(vault – an arched roof or ceiling usually made of stone, brick, or concrete. Several types of vaults have been developed; all need buttressing – a projecting support – at the point where the lateral thrust is concentrated. Lateral – of or relating to the side: directed to or from the side.)
Barrel vault – half cylindrical structure made of successive arches
Groin vault – 2 barrel vaults that intersect at right angles
Dome – true dome is vaulted roof or circular, polygonal or elliptical plan, formed with hemispherical or voidal curvature. May be supported by a drum and by pendentives or related construction. There are various type of domes.
True arch – made of voussoirs – wedge shaped blacks that point toward the center of a semi-circular opening
An arch – (true arch) gains strength as the load above it increases – Romans exploited this property to build monumental structures
Arches also accommodated mighty spans – as in Roman bridges and aqueducts.
Engaged columns – not true peristyle
Roman temples – Greek and Etruscan influence
Strongest in Republican times (510 – 60 BC) – heroic time of Roman Expansion
Greek influence – elegant proportions, ionic columns and entablature.
Roman conquest of Greece – 146 BC – absorbed Greek style
Etruscan influence – high podium, deep porch or pronaos, wide cella or naos, naos or cella now one room (Etruscan cellas were divided into 3 parts)
Spacious temples – for image of god and display of trophies (statues and weapons) brought back by armies.
Sides have engaged columns – not true peristyle.
Temple of Fortuna Virilis, Rome, late 2nd century BC is oldest well-preserved example of this type of temple – many more like this, many large with Corinthian columns
Another type of Republican temple
Round temples of late Republican times
Round shape – mixture of round traditional peasant huts and Greek Tholos (round building)
Based on building in center of Rome that housed the sacred flame of the city
High podium – steps at entrance only
Greek inspired exterior
Cella – concrete with marble facing with window and door frames of cut stone
Basilica – large public building used for courts of law and public functions-like a municipal hall
Julius Caesar sponsored grand scale project in Rome – Forum Julium
Forum – Latin word meaning open space in any Roman town where business, judicial, civic, or religious activities were conducted. Typically it was a square or rectangle with open space bounded by 3 colonnades on 3 sides and on the fourth side by a basilica
Julius Caesar built the Forum Julium around 54 BC (he died Mar. 15 44 BC – murdered in Senate – (his murderers were overthrown by his young grandnephew, adopted son, and chief heir, later known as Augustus Octavian)
Forum Julium – was a great architecturally framed square adjoining the Temple of Venus Genetrix (the mythical ancestors of Ceasar’s family) – merged religion and personal glory. Model for later Imperial Roman forums – linked together by the Sacred Way – road
Forums – only field or ruins now
Aqueduct – (means “lead water”) tope section has water channel – usually they were underground except bridges to carry water over rivers and ravines.
Lateral thrust of each vault counteracted by its neighbors end vaults. Only needs buttressing.
Pont du Gard, Nimes, France, early 1st century BC
Basis of construction is arch and vault.
Designed for efficiency – show durability of Roman engineering
Mighty arched spans cared aqueducts across valleys and waterways
This most spectacular – built without mortar in 19 BC near Nimes, France
Carried water in its upper channel for nearly 300 yards across the Gard River at a height of 160 feet
Used gravity to transport water over aqueducts from springs and rivers
Surveyors calculated precise slope at which aqueduct should by built – steep enough to keep water moving, but not so steep that it slowed too fast and eroded the masonry channel. Because the slope had to be kept constant, at different points an aqueduct might run at ground level, underground, or high over ravines or rivers.
Not many survive – this one best example
Eleven main aqueducts eventually served Rome. First one – Aqua Appia – built 312 BC
The Aqua Claudia (AD47) – best constructed one- brought water to Rome from 45 miles away from Sybiacco – had 10 miles of arched supports along its course. Art city limits, water was drained into a holding tank and distributed to several water mains.
An ancient Roman aqueduct still brings water from springs in Salone fourteen miles to the Trevi Fountain in Rome.
Emperor Vespian (ruled Rome from 69 AD – 79 AC) began it and his son, Roman Emperor Titus dedicated it in AD 80. It was completed by Vespian’s younger son, Domitian, who succeeded Titus as Emperor in 81 AD. Originally called the Flavian Amphitheater (Gr. Amphi=around + theatron=theater)
Colosseum – huge amphitheater for gladiatorial games – center of Rome
Completed in 80 AD
Huge – 50,000 spectators
159 feet tall, 616 feet long, and 511 feet wide
Concrete core, miles of stairways and barrel and groin vaulted corridors to take traffic to arena.
On top they spanned expanse with huge canvas sheets that sailors of imperial fleet operated to shade crowed on hot days.
Concrete with stone facing – engaged (attached) columns and entablatures, endless repetition of arches or arcades.
More than 3 million cubic feet of travertine marble
3 orders – by weight (3 levels of arcades):
1) Doric – bottom floor – “heaviest” order on bottom
2) 2) Ionic – next level up
3) Corinthian – next up – gets lighter in weight as go up
Arch – keeps consistency in structure
Top level (attic story) – Corinthian plasters (engaged) with small windows, metal shields mounted to spaces between windows
The surface of outer wall got flatter as it went up, leads viewer’s eye up – topped with projecting cornice at top to crown the structure.
Upper wall fitted with sockets into which poles were inserted as supports for large canvas coverings that were stretched by sailors to cover when needed.
Place of violent spectacles for entertainment
Colosseum designed for gladiator contests and combat between men and animals and animals vs. animals
Once this property was pond (on Nero’s property) so it was possible to build a built-in drainage system for washing away blood and gore of combat.
There were subterranean passages for animals
Arena – elliptical area inside – was a pit with high wall around it to protect spectators – floor – wooden base supported by substructures – covered with sand
Colosseum built around a concrete core, with extensive system of halls and stairways for easy access
Two types of vault used in corridor ceilings – barrel vault and groin (across) vault
Porch – deep called “portico” or “pronaos” , Corinthian Columns, once high podium – now street covers it
Large round temple
Cella – large drum with curved dome on top
Entrance – deep porch
Originally on higher podium – now street level has risen
Can’t see original steps
Severe, weighty, plain exterior – must have had support problems – thick outer wall
Interior – opens up – light awe-inspiring space
Dome – true hemisphere (fig 7-14)
Interlocking ribs from structural cage with lightweight coffers – 5 rings
Circular opening – oculus or “eye” admits light
Oculus to floor – 143 ft – equals diameter of domes base and interior (fig 7-14)
Dome and drum – equal weight balance
Outside of Dome
Weightier – as dome goes down wall thickens (from 6-20 ft at bottom) for support
Interior – dome rests on 8 pillars
Niches in between pillars with columns inside – effect of opening space – lighten wall
Pantheon – dedicated to all gods – 7 planetary gods – 7 riches
Oculus – 27 foot diameter
Rebuilt by Hadrian AD 118 and 128
Grand monument to Roman deities
In 608 AD, given to pope at that time – to turn into church – Santa Maria ad Martyres – thus insuring its survival, in good condition
Relatively plain and severe exterior – no hint of grandeur inside
Entrance emphasized by deep porch – Corinthian columns
Inscription refers to Marcus Agrippa (who built the first temple on the site toward the end of 1st century BC
Originally porch was part of a rectangular colonnaded forecourt that detached it somewhat from the rotunda.
Detail of back
Central inner space called “rotunda” – round structure
Spaces carved into wall “niches” 7 spaces or niches for 7 Roman deities
Marble veneer, stucco – painted decoration, many surfaces guilded
Oculus – 27 foot diameter – only window, 140 coffers, 5 rows of 28
Oculus – never was covered – still open to this day. The marble floor is slightly concave with petal shaped drains at intervals to drain rain water. Slight rain is stopped by upward-flowing air drafts – only heavy rainfall comes in and is drained.
Dome – 6 foot thick at top – expands to 20 feet thick at base for support of downward thrust
Interlocking ribs in dome – forms structural cage – allows coffers – they were originally guilded coffers: they diminish in size as the go up
Heightens sense of depth and perspective
Dome – symbol of sky or “eye of heaven”
Sun – eye of Jupiter – supreme deity of Rome
Plan and Reconstruction – apse – colossal statue of Constantine
Seat for Constantine could sit as emperor
narthex or vestibule
Basilica of Constantine – north aisle left standing
Thermae – great baths – social life centers in Imperial Rome public baths – steam rooms
Experimental with new building types for great baths
Led to new building types like this
Basilica of Constantine – inspired by great baths – Basilica – long hall for public uses (held court there) – means “royal house” – Greek Hellenistic times
Large scale – central Nave or central hall flanked by ??? isle – only Naish and 3 large ??? vault compartments remain
Nave was once covered with 3 groin vaults – rose higher than aisles – resemble canopy
Groin vaults – weight goes to 4 corners so upper walls could be opened up the windows – called the ???? – gave light airy quality to interior
Usually wooden roofs – many destroyed by fire
Entered through vestibule or nathex on East end
Apse – semicircular niche on opposite west – where the colossal statue of Constantine was
2nd entrance on south added and 2nd niche opposite added where he could sit as emperor
This design would later (7000 yrs later) influence the later vaulted Basilican churches in western Europe.
View of east side
3 large barrel vaults that span north aisle, still standing
Augustus – portrayed as general ??? – likeness – yet idealized
Portrayed as youth (he died at 76 after long reign)
Tradition – after death of male head of family wax bust or head made – placed in family shrine – marble busts carved from wax death masks
Funerals – heads used in processions and carried
Noble families of Rome followed this tradition of ancestor worship
Connected them to family lineage
Likeness important – individual quality
Somber,, dignified – honor and duty stressed
Imperial sculpture – by reign of Augustus (27 – 14 AD)
Trend in portraiture
Climax in his portrait
God or human being?
Like divine ruler from Greece and Egypt
Emperor – chief priest of State religion – gave him divine air
Inspired by ???? (fig 5-42) from Greece – physical perfection
Winged infant cupid on dolphin at feet – claim that Julium family descended form Jupiter
Face idealized yet is good likeness of Augustus
Breastplate – Augustus’ victory over Parthians 39-38 BC
Shown as allegory
Gods and goddesses raise event to cosmic scale
Augustus saw this victory as new age of peace
Giving Euyruer??? Divine status became official policy
– Emperor –God + Human – more power
This statue derived from the Doryphoros by Polykleitos
Here cupid at the feet of Augustus – suggests the infant Bacchus in Praxitules’ Hermes
His head is idealized – Hellenized, yet Roman in its natural likeness – we know this from other statues with his likeness – all Romans would have recognized this as Augustus
Bare feet indicate his divinity
Cupid (Venus’ son) links Augustus to divine lineage
Mother Earth also one of reliefs – ties Roman Empire with Earth and conquest of the land
Canopy spread out by sky god at top of breastplate indicates the sky gods protect home
Breastplate shows Augustus’ victory over Panthians in 39-38 BC
Parthian returns a military stand and looted from the Romans
Ara Pacis – Augustus saw himself as “Prince of Peace” rather than military hero
This monument – Ara Pacis (Altar of Peace)
Richly carved altar, frieze depicts allegorical and legendary scenes
Hellenistic influence yet classical composure and grace
Mix of real event (founding of altar in 13 BC) with mythical air
Narrative relief – represents several generations of Augustus’ family – Augustus in Shroud as Pontifex Maximus – chief priest of State Religion
His son –in-law – his wife , Livia
His grandson tugs at the robe of a young man in front of him while an older child tells him to behave
In the moment – real life details yet idealized
Parthenon frieze – celebrates an idealized ritual – the Parthenaic procession – annual – very 4 years larger procession to honor Athena
Much more special depth than Parthenon frieze – we saw this develop in the ??? of Hegaso – here more spatial depth – figures mold into background – pliable space not flat – really emerge out of space
Here blank background becomes space of sky. Real landscape with rocks and vegetation
Hellenistic (Greek quality_ more idealized and other worldly than Procession
Allegory – Mother Earth flanked by personification of winds
Personifies fertility – animal, plant and human
Also symbol of Augustus’ reign – peace and plenty
Landscape setting – detailed natural environment and sky
Graceful interplay – Acanthus detail on pilasters repeated motif
Acanthus ornamentation on pilasters and panels below Allegory – delicate graceful pattern – Acanthus from Greece, but never handled in decorative pattern like this – Roman symbolizes again Augustus’s time of peace and plenty
Column of Trajan – Erected 106-113 AD to celebrate Emperor Trajan’s victorious campaigns over the Dacians (now Romania) 125 feet high
Column of Trajan
Realism in conflict with symbolic purposes of Roman Imperial Art
Freestanding commemorative columns built since Hellenistic times (maybe inspired by Egyptian obelisks)
125 feet high
Continuous spiral band of relief
Complete details of history of Dacian Wars
Column one topped with bronze statue of Trajan (destroyed in Middle Ages)
Base served as burial chamber for his ashes
Design often credited to Apolodorus of Damascus – Trojan’s military architect during the war
Relief band – if unwound it would be 656 feet long
Hand to see – narrative goes around column and very tall
Top barely viewable
Here River God (descendent of Poseidon) represents the Danube River
To left are river boats loaded with supplies and a Roman town on a rocky bank
On right the Roman Army crosses the river on a pontoon bridge
Over 150 episodes – some with actual combat but rare
Geographic, logistic, political aspects get more attention
Contrasts action and violence in Assyrian reliefs
Very matter of fact military campaign details
Shallow carving so shadows would not obscure scenes
Stage –like space of landscape and architecture behind figures for clarity – foretells the narrative reliefs of the dawn of medieval art 200 years later
Later Imperial portraits
Classical trend – cool and formal
One of this kind that survives – remarkably remained on view throughout Middle Ages
Julius Caesar – started tradition of showing emperor riding horse – had equestrian stature of himself erected in his forum
Shows Emperor as all-conquering lord of the earth
(A different portrait of Marcus Aurelius) marble – detail from marble portrait bust
Marcus Aurelius – meant to be seen as victorious ruler – yet humane and wise – contemplator of life
“Meditationary, stoicism, calm, acceptance of life and adherence to duty and country
In Equestrian Statue – Powerful and spirited horse shows martial (relating to war) spirit
Yet Marcus Aurelius himself has a stoic calm
He holds no weapons or shield
Saw himself as a bringer of peace rather than a military hero
After the death of Marcus Aurelius, the Empire began to weaken – succession of barbaric invasions from East and South
As barbarian invasions as well as internal uprisings plagued the Roman Empire, retaining the throne became a matter of brute force
Succession by murder was not uncommon
The “soldier emperors” – were mercenaries from out-lying provinces of realm – followed one after another at brief intervals
Here, one of the “soldiers emperors” Phillipus the Arab, reigned 244 – 249 AD
This realism as strong as realism in Republican era, but more expressive force
Exact likeness yet displays dark emotions – fear, worry, strain displayed by furrowed brow, sagging mouth and eyes
As if gravity pulls his features down – heavy, burdened
Weighted by psychological pain and agony
Reflected the violence and disorder of his time
Reminds me of the Egyptian Portrait of Sestrosis III (fragment)
(fig 2-19) ??? 6 1/2” high
(1850 BC) Middle Kingdom
His trouble expression similar to Phillysus the Arab
Things change with change in Roman Empire
Constantine the Great
1st Christian Emperor and reorganizer of the Roman State
Around 300 BC Roman Empire ruled by two tetrachs that jointly ruled Empire
Constantine named tetrach in 307 AD but became sole ruler in 324 AD
These are fragments from huge stature that was place in apse of the Basilica of Constantine
The head alone is 8 feet tall
Figure was nude- probably seated with mantle draped over legs like Jupiter
Most likely he held the cross-scepter called a labarum
He converted to Christianity in 312 AD
This imperial scepter originally was a Roman military standard
Became symbol of Christianity with “Chi Rho” insignia and wreath added
“Chi Rho” – the 1st two letter of Christ’s name in Greek X” = Chi (Ch) Greek “P” = Rho (Rh)
“XRISTOS” – Christ
This represented Constantine as Christian leader of the world
Other hand probably held orb
Served also as cult stature of emperor
Features out of proportion
Viewer is crushed by immensity
Great power, massive immobile
Little realistic, life-like detail
Huge hypnotic eyes
Generalized exaggerated features
Losing realism for symbolic power of exhaulted office
Marked ritual place of entry into a city – stood alone- different than arches on city walls in Roman triumphal arches erected throughout Roman Empire – commemorative special military events or tribute to General or Emperors – this basic formula Gateway with 2 side portals
Short barrel vaults
Erected near Colosseum 312 – 315 AC
Further reflected Constantine’s conception of his role
Largest and most elaborate of its kind
Decorated with sculpture from other Imperial monuments – due to haste and poor state of sculptural workshops in Rome at that time
Conscious choice of pieces that were chosen – all from group of related monuments dedicated to Trajan, Hadrian, and Marcus Aurelius – portraits of these emperors were reworked to resemble Constantine
Constantines’ view of himself as restorer of Roman glory
Heir of the ‘good Emperor” of 2nd century that chose their successors based on merit rather than kinship
Medallions above (Hadrianic 117-138 AD)
Frieze – early 4th century – Constantine’s style
Arch contains number of reliefs made especially for Constantines’ Arch such as friezes above the side portals.
These figures in frieze show Constantine’s style
Figures squat and doll-like big heads, stubby legs, little movement or contraposto
No muscular tension in bodies
Avoids using special devices to create depth
Background flattened out and stage-like
No oblique (slanting) lines
More primitive level of expression
The scene fills the available space – no suggestion that scene goes beyond the border
Very symmetrical – in detail (fig) 7-47) in book. Constantine is in center with frontal position, full face, while onlookers on sides turn sideways to look at him – expresses their dependency on them
Some figures recognizable but their proportions have been drastically adjusted
Not realistic – more abstract and symbolic
Roman Wall painting – very little known about them
What we do know of them comes from mostly wall painting unearthed (they were buried in eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD) in area of Pompeii, Herculaneum and other towns near there – or found near on in Rome
Covers about 200 year period, 2nd century BC to late 1st century AD
1. First style – widespread in Hellenistic world (found in eastern Mediterranean area) Mainly imitation of colored marble paneling
No examples here
2. second style – Roman illusionism – usually architectural vistas framed in by illusionistic 3-D architectural forms such as painted columns, moulding, masks opened up to light filled architectural vistas – maze of tangled buildings with unorganized and inconsistent perspective – no knowledge of systematic perspective to create illusion of space and depth – viewer gets lost
Scale also inconsistent
The architectural elements framing the vistas have most 3-D illusion
Also landscapes in second style
Odyssey Landscapes – mainly landscape without architectural elements,
foreshortening less important
A continuous landscape divided up into compartments that are divided by a framework of pilasters
Each section represents an adventure of Odysseus in battle with the Laestrygonians – warm Mediterranean fantasy land filled with bluish fight-filled space
Figures play less important role rather ambiguous special relationship
Villa of Livia – view of garden, flowers, trees, birds – charming details – real color and texture.
Space – at arm’s length, but viewer can’t enter space in any way – limited depth, delightful detail – feeling of Aegean Art – for beauty’s sake
No architectural framework, wall opens up in shallow space – then wall of plants
Villa just outside of Pompeii
Great mural frieze in one of the rooms – dates to latter part of 1st century BC
This at time when second style at its peak
As in View of Garden – both have shallow space and a rhythmic continuity (flowing repetition of elements on shallow stage-like space)
Details of villa – home for wealthy upper class
Again as in View of the Garden – (rhythmic continuity)
There is a shallow stage-like space at arm’s length
Figures placed on narrow edge of green with red panels behind them – separated by strips of black – like running stage where ritual is acted out
Depicts various rites of the Dionysiac Mysteries – as semi-secret cult of ancient origin brought to Italy from Greece
Rituals – mysterious, but maybe rites of initiations into womanhood and marriage
In presence of Dionysoso and Adriadne with satyrs (half man and half goat) and sileni
Adriadne – consort of Dionysos
Sileni – nymphs
Eros (god of love) appears as winged boy
Human and mythical realities merge into one
All figures – qualities of dignity, timeless grace, firm body and glowing, drapery and expression
Rapt intensity of participation in drama of ancient rites
Figures have classic poses and gestures of Greek art, yet less self-conscious than classical Greek art
Informality more Roman quality
Late Roman Painting
3. Third style – 20 BC to at least mid 1st century BC – abandoned illusionism for decorative surfaces with brand planes of intense color – sometimes relieved with imitation panel paintings – no examples here
4. Fourth style – most intricate of all – around time of eruption of Mount Vesuvius – 79 AD
It combined all three previous styles for grand effect
Sometimes a bit disjointed and complex mixtures of images, illusionism, and decoration
The Ixion Room – in House of Vettii at Pompeii
Combines emulation marble painting, framed mythological scenes (look like panel paintings set into the wall), and fantastic architectural vistas seen through illusionistic windows
Unreal yet picturesque qualities – maybe like theater sets at the time
Still in 4th style
Peaches and Glass Jar – sometimes within Roman mural decoration a still life is painted within an architectural framework – imaginary niches or cupboards
Here still life – in front there is glass jar filled with water – nice rendering of reflections and transparency
Still can’t trace a realistic light source, but the painter must have observed an actual jar – light and reflections, shadows cast are not consistent with direction of light, also light is trapped in jar – does not penetrate through jar and illuminate shadows.
For the most part, Roman painting lacks continuity of a consistent objective view of reality – still displays grace and charm.
Also even though it is tempting to assume great deal of copying of Greek art works, for the most part Roman painting is a specifically Roman development.
Themes (even if they have Greek names) can’t be assumed to be any less Roman
Still like painting started in Greece, but taken over and developed more extensively in Roman painting
Roman illusionistic tendencies during 1st century BC in Roman wall paintings are a dramatic breakthrough that as far as we know had no precedence in Greece
Hercules and Telephus – Roman painting (as in Roman sculpture) copied Greek originals – sometimes we have several examples of copies of one Greek original, so we can see the original was changed in translation
Mythological panels – freely altered and changed (perhaps to varying tastes of collectors.
Hercules and Telephus (his infant son) rather disjointed feeling – combines motifs from different sources
Hercules discovers his infant son Telephus
Upper left – mischievous Pan behind reclining figure of (the personifi9cation of) Arcadia
Hercules stands looking at child seated under doe. Beside him to right is Nemean Lion (his emblem) and eagle of Jupiter (his father)
Style and technique varies from figure to figure – some places precise outline, some places sketchy dabs of paint
Highlights on basket inconsistent with other various light sources in painting
Patrician holds portrait busts of his father and grandfather (probably). Portrait busts were detailed, topographical records of subjects face – contained not much emotion – serious, stern, devoted to duty, Roman qualities
Ancestor Cult – portraits painted and portrait busts made from wax image of face of deceased (usually the male head of the household)
Busts were preserved and kept on shrine or family altar. At the funeral procession, the ancestral images of family were carved in procession
Memorialized dead – preserved their spirit
Pride in family lineage – link to ancestors
By early 1st century BC there was a large demand for faces sculpted in marble
Portrait Painting – also served same role in ancestor cults – not many painted portraits survive in Italy
Coherent group of portrait paintings found in Faiyum – district in Lower Egypt
Earliest dates from 2nd century AD
They survived due to Egyptians custom of attaching portrait of deceased to the wrapped, mummified body
Originally these were sculpted death masks in Egypt (like Tutankhamen’s death mask) but in Roman times they used painted wooden panels
Fresh colors due to medium of Encaustic – pigments suspended in hot wax (a mixture thick and creamy or light and translucent)
Best ones – fresh, direct strokes, work fast before wax dries and sets
Portrait of a Boy – style of its own, many produced very fast – all tend to emphasize the eyes – similarity in placement of highlights and shadows and angle of face
Here see individual character of this boy
This tradition and technique will be used again centuries later in early Byzantine icons – painting of Christ, Madonna and Child and Saints.
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