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Unit 2: Ancient Mediterranean (Part 3)

Terms in this set (11)

Form/Function
statue itself is over nine feet tall
made of Thasian and Parian marble
was found in the temple complex on the island of Samothrace called the Sanctuary of the Great Godsthis was one of the principle Pan-Hellenistic sanctuariesassociated with Mystery religion
statue was an ex-voto (votive offering to a deity) most likely given by the people of Rhodes to commemorate a naval victorythe offering would have also served to gain the deities favor, protecting sailors and armies against storms and enemies

Context
currently resides in the Louvre, in Paris France
was made around the 2nd century BCE during the Hellenistic period
the sculptor is unknown
the Hellenistic period followed the death of Alexander the Great when the Greek kingdom got split up, so the constant warring between city-states and other kingdoms increased the emphasis on Nike, who would spread the message of a victory
would have looked out over the Parthenon in the sanctuary, with natural winds from the coast seeming to enliven Nike's clothes
stands on the prow of a huge marble ship
had huge impact on the traditions of Western Art that followed

Contentdepicts Nike, who was the messenger goddess of victoryis missing her head and both arms, but may have been holding a trumpet or cupping her hand around her mouth to announce a naval victory"violent motion and sudden stillness meet" was meant to be viewed from three-quarters to the statue's right-hand side, evidenced because the other side is not as intricately carvedgone is the stiff, more classical style of antiquity; in its place is a Hellenistic passion and voluptuousness texture is created in the intricate carvings of the wings she is not nude, but her clothing is coming off to reveal her body, which was typical for sculpture of the timethe intense, intricate sculpting of her clothes, of how it drapes, adds to the sense of motion in the piece carved in extreme detail: we can tell where the cloth is thicker/thinner, and where it sticks to her skin because it is wet with sea water the way her body is sculpted creates a spiraling effect: her wings reach back, her chest forward, her feet downlooking from the perspective from which it was meant to be viewed, follows the form of a right triangle (can see this in the picture on the bottom left)
Form
35.64 by 33.4 metres
White marble remains; would've been painted brilliantly in its age
High relief sculpture creates great drama, shadow, contrast
More prominent gods and figures are in higher relief
Function
Worship of the Greek pantheon of Gods and their dominance over their enemies
Optimism of the Greek spirit in confronting the unknown and unfamiliar cultures (like the Giants)
Representation of Greek prowess and might
Sacrifices may have been offered at the top of the stairs
Content
A battle of the Greek mythological pantheon of gods vs. the Giants to determine the controller of the universe
AthenaFights Alkyoneus, the main giant, as his mother looks on in horrorAppears confident and triumphant as she fightsBeing crowned from behind by a winged NikeUses battle snakes to aid in defeating the giantsEarned name Athena "gigantolteira" = slayer of the giants
ZeusBattles 3 Giants at once, with the help of an eagle (above) and his lightning bolt Cloaked in realistically ruffled robes2 of the three giants he has already defeated; they lie in (youthful) ruin around him
Context
Created during the Hellenistic Period (c. 200-150 B.C.E.) in Pergamon, modern-day Turkey, 20 miles from the coast.
Alexander the Great "Hellenized," or spread Greek influence, from Egypt to the Indus Valley during his reign.
When Alexander the Great died, his four generals inherited his land and reign.
One of the generals saw the hilltop of Pergamon as geographically desirable, and therefore built the city of Pergamon.
In the 1800s, the Prussians wanted to achieve/mimic French and British culture, so they created the Pergamon Museum.
The Pergamon Museum of Berlin recreated the Altar of Zeus and Athena at Pergamon very realistically (lots of artistic effort by the Museum.)
In ancient Pergamon, the altar would've been surrounded by a library of 200,000+ scrolls, a royal palace for the king, and a garrison for soldiers.
The altar was never fully completed because King Prusias II attacked Pergamon in 156 BCE.
Context
Many wealthy families of Pompeii fled to other Roman cities after Earthquake of Pompeii in 62 CE Created a vacuum of wealthy families; a new upper class emerged consisting mainly of freedmenConviva and Restitutus were both freedmen, new to wealth and status.
House owned by Aulus Vettius Conviva and his brother, Aulus Vettius Restitutus. Conviva was an augustalis, a position of the highest civic office a freedman could attain. To become augustalis like Conviva, one had to make a significant donation to a public works project.
House excavated first from 1894-1896.
2 of the rooms opening onto the peristyle were still being painted at the time of the eruption
Speculated the brothers got their wealth from being wine merchants, and effectively bought their elite status
Domestic art (wall painting and sculpture) after the Earthquake became markedly sexual and less morally clean.
Newly rich homes had art with mythological and cult paintings to impress their guests and pronounce their status.
Form
Covers 1,100 sq. meters
Demonstrates Pompeii's late artistic and architectural styles (was still being completed at Vesuvius eruption.)
No office space (tablinum): could show they have no differential between public and private affairs (they were social climbers; not extremely private perhaps.)
The house's paintings and interior decoration indicate a theme of forward-thinking
Layout demonstrates the relatively public nature of Roman housesLarge entertainment rooms also served as places of commerce and businessOnly rooms that were truly private were servant's quarters and women's "gynaeceum"
Content
Wall paintings, called "decorative schema" have meaning disputed amongst Art HistoriansSome think wall paintings represent the transition from Pompeii's 3rd to 4th style of paintingOthers think the paintings are examples of only 4th-style-Pompeiian painting.
Fourth style wall paintings were generally expansive and imitated higher art; they turned rooms into galleries*
Contains two large, central halls (atria)
Largest of the rooms opening on the peristyle contains wall paintings in red and blackHas detailed motif of putti/erotes: mythical winged gods of love
The impluvium (water basin) lies at the center of the atrium for collecting rain.
Increasedly sexual nature of the paintings and artwork marks a decline in Pompeii's moral standards and decency. Phallic figures, god Priapus, females being sexual objects and raped by men and gods.Depictions of nude males, however, symbolized "fertility" and protection of the house...
Graffiti found on the house suggests prostitution was a common and inexpensive ordeal in Pompeii at the time
Wall paintings depict Cupids collecting grapes; it was later discovered that Pompeii was home to great vineyards
Function
To display the wealth and status (albeit newly gained) of the brothers Vettii2 lockboxes for storing valuables were displayed proudly in the vestibulumPainting of the god Prianus was displayed in the vestibule; he weighs phallus against money Painting may have showed the Vettii's unique ambitions and motivations for wealth, differing from the traditional Roman wealthy families' ways. The smaller atrium functioned as a service area Peristyle and its rooms functioned for dining and entertainment
Insight into Pompeiian domestic architecture and design (specifically at the transition from 3rd to 4th style)
Significant in size
Indicates the changes in design of Roman Houses around the 3rd quarter of the first century CE.
Indicates social mobility in Pompeii around that time; brothers went from freedmen to very wealthy
Leads to historical discoveries (like in 1970 --> discovered that Pompeii had grown grapes; paintings in house depict grape-picking)
FORM:
-floor mosaic, 2.72 by 5.13 meters
-made from more than one million and a half pieces of stone and glass
-found in the House of Faun in Pompeii
-possibly based on a wall painting done in 315 B.C.E., Hellenistic Period by a greek artist named Philoxenos because it matches a description of the painting written by Pliny
-found on the floor between to peristyles (open courtyards) crowded by columns
FUNCTION:
-found in the House of Faun which was the nicest mansion found in Pompeii which means it was a piece of art aristocrats would have invested in for perhaps their own enjoyment and for the enjoyment of guests
-the bronze faun statue found there suggests the owners cared much for art
-the subject matter is significant, it depicts the god-like (think about his breastplate)breastplate, powerful, strong historical figure, Alexander who like the Romans, wanted to conquer the world, and had qualities of strength and military genius which would have been admired by Romans
-Alexander's conquest notably lead to the unification of Greece, a culture the Roman's respected and imitated, the mosaic would have been a symbol of this respect, and almost a source of inspiration
CONTENT:
-depicts the Battle of Issus, between Alexander the Great and Darius III
-a very dramatic and chaotic scene with a sense of momentum as the massive chariot is turning around
- Darius is turning his army around, his face with a desperate and, emotional quality, his hand extended in horror of his guard who has just been speared in front of him, a gesture preventing him from actually fighting and he is rather just taken aback
-pretty empty at the top, considered evidence it was based on the painting
-turned faces and bodies, show an understanding and respect for the human form and anatomy
-excellent use of foreshortening in the horse
-Foreshortening: used in art to reduce or distort (parts of a represented object that are not parallel to the picture plane) in order to convey the illusion of three-dimensional space as perceived by the human eye: often done according to the rules of perspective
-incredibly detailed due to the use of so many pieces, one example being the soldier's reflection in his own shield
-Alexander's breastplate has Medusa's head, which was used as a magical protection spell from evil, it also can symbolize divine birth
-most, about 3/4 of the remaining mosaic depicts the Persians, but almost all their spears providing a line of focus to Alexander
CONTEXT:
-Republican Roman, c. 100 B.C.E.
-found in the city of Pompeii which was preserved in ash after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius
-it was found in the House of Faun, named after the bronze statue of a faun found there
- wishful thinking on the part of art historians that it is based on a greek painting because there are none left
- the Battle of Issus (333 BC) which was a turning point in ancient history because the ruler of Persia (Darius III) is ordering a retreat of his troops
-Darius has a look of desperation, and history says that Alexander pitied his family and let them live
-this piece's choice of subject matter and naturalism ultimately shows the Roman appreciation for greek art
-Alexander is not depicted in his typical form here, as an incarnation of Zeus, Helios or Apollo with long ringlets and soft, idealized features, but is more natural
Form:
Rare Hellenistic Bronze original greek sculpture
Lost wax casting (hollow cast)
Process by which duplicate metal sculpture is cast from an original sculpture
Copper used to depict wounds on face and hands
Seated posture
Made in different sections that were then welded together

Function:
It has been suggested that the statue was attributed with healing powers
Represents the cultural shift of the Hellenistic period
Could have been a votive statue dedicated to a boxer
Some have identified him as the Boxer of Quirnal
Could be made to represent the culture of boxing in Ancient Greece

Content:
The humanity found in this work creates a sense of presence
Muscular, powerful, and defeated
His body serves a stark contrast to his hands and face
Covering his head and face is bits of copper which posed next to the bronze resembles blood, covering his face and hands with wounds
In contrast, his body is muscular and idealized, as typical ancient Greek art depicted men
This shows a connection to the original Greek art which is combined with the new emphasis on humanity and expanding the focus of art.
His posture
By sitting with his torso collapsing inwards and his head down the look of defeat on his face is supplemented by this worn down posture
Even though his face is down his gaze is upwards
Sitting was not common is ancient Greek art so this was a deliberate attempt to convey humility and informality

Context:
It was created during the Hellenistic period (100BCE)
Which was the last phase of ancient Greek art right after alexander the great and before the Romans took over
During this time Greek art was expanded to include a variety of art
Breaking away from the traditional idealized, heroic, male nude
The seated boxer embodies the culture shift of the Hellenistic period
Still holding onto the pre Hellenistic ideas his body is idealized with perfect muscle, but in contrast, his posture and face show humanity
Form
Also known as the Otricoli Head (the name of the individual is unknown)
From Otricoli, Italy; now housed in the Palazzo Torlonia in Rome, Italy
Approx. 1' 2" high
Republican Roman
c. 75-50 BCE
Marble
Polychromed (painted in several colors)
Terra Cotta- was used and then painted with encaustic (otherwise referred to as a hot wax process)
Use of clay (additive and subtractive) process was convenient because with this form of sculpting mistakes can be fixed
Veristic Style: Verism
A form of realism (hyper-realistic)
Over exaggerated (extremely aged and care worn)
Used as a way of honoring powerful elders
Unlike the Greek, the Romans believed that a head was enough to suffice as a portrait
Influenced by the tradition of ancestral imagines
Death wax masks of notable ancestors were kept and displayed by the family
Aristocratic families
Masks were used at funerals so that an actor might portray the deceased ancestors in a sort of familial parade
A reminder that one's public image played a major role in what was a turbulent time in Roman history
Function
A veristic sculpture that accurately depicts a patrician
Admire the age of the elderly (in this case, an old patrician)
Symbolizes the virtues of wisdom, determination, experience, valor and strength that all Roman Republicans hoped to obtain
Content
Description: wrinkled and toothless, with sagging jowls
The face of a Roman aristocrat stares at us across the ages
Physical traits meant to convey seriousness of mind (gravitas) and the virtue (virtus) of a public career by demonstrating the way in which the subject literally wears the marks of his endeavors--in the days of the Roman Republic it was an effective means of competing in an ever more complex socio-political arena
This Veristic (or surrealistic) portrait of an unknown Roman patrician depicts carefully sculpted detail in the face, especially wrinkles and changes in texture
Instead of trying to make their subject appear perfect and youthful patrician portraits from the ancient Roman Republic aimed to highlight distinctive facial features
wrinkles and other signs of ageing on this portrait in particular serve to point out his admirable qualities of experience, seriousness, and determination
FORM:
Imperial Roman, Early first century C.E., 20 B.C.E
Marble
found in the villa of Livia (his wife), at Primaporta
free standing, sculpture in the round
bas-relief carving on the breastplate
standing contrapposto
most likely a copy of a bronze sculpture, many copies would have been made
CONTENT:
political significance, filled with Roman political ideology
idealized statue of him, very young and attractive
cupid is pulling down his garment at his ankle, symbolizing his own divine lineage
the cuirass, or breastplate depicts the god of the sky and the goddess of the Earth, divine convergence, on its sides there are female personifications of the nations conquered by Rome (specifically by Augustus)
the sun god and sky god (Sol and Caelus) are at the top of the cuirass, and therefore shine down on all these parts of the empire spreading Roman glory and light
his prestige is awarded by the use of elements from Ancient Greece
wearing army garb and has his hand out, not just an orator...he is addressing his troops who will go and conquer
perfect/flawless flake and body, athletic, young
unlike early Hellenistic statue he is very still, calm and stately, with little movement
barefoot goes against typical statues of the time and makes it more naturalistic and divine
wears a tunic which at this point in history was associated to the deified Julius Caesar
CONTEXT:
Augustus claimed to be reestablishing the senate, but in reality, he is just trying to stabilize the Roman government so he could establish himself as Rome's first real emperor
in the previous historical period (the Roman Republic) had an age requirement, an old council of elders, and it was ruled by the senate, but in the Imperial Roman period Augustus was the sole ruler
utilizes the "Canon" of proportions and his statue is reminiscent of Athens during the age of Pericles (5th century BC), Polykleitos' Doryphoros
the Cupid is a significant choice because Caesar Augustus claims his ancestors are: Aeneas (founder of Rome and son of Venus, hence the Cupid) and Julius Caesar (made into a god)
Cupid rides a dolphin which symbolizes Augustus' win in the Battle of Actium (31 BCE) using naval power over Antony and Cleopatra, a victory making Augustus emperor
named after the Italian town it was discovered in (1863)
after his reign he created 200 years of peace (pax romana) so this statue is a precursor
serenity of peace and even chosen imagery on breastplate (no battle scene) reflect how he recently ended civil wars
doesn't have anything like sun rays or specific qualities of a god like Alexander would have had, Augustus refused to be deified or called a dictator to keep the guise of the republic and not make the people envious
FUNCTION:
served as a portrait of her husband considering it was found in her home
there would have been many bronze copies distributed around Rome, and put in public places as a type of propaganda
the statues showed the positive qualities, what he looked like (no photos so commoners wouldn't even know what the Emperor looked like), it shows how he wanted to portray himself to the people in a godlike way
one scene on the breastplate depicts the Romans getting back their standards from the Parthians, showing Rome's superiority and power
"visual propaganda" demonstrating Augustus' military prowess and the Religion of Rome
Form:
"amphitheater"two Greek theaters put together (facing each other) to create the oval-shaped amphitheater (stadium)
Inner ring made from concreterequired less skill, time, and money to quarry, transport, and build with concreteRomans were the first to master and employ the widespread use of concrete as a building material
Outer ring (external wall) made from travertine (a limestone)
Extensive use of vaults and the Roman arch
could hold 50,000 to 80,000 spectators
Dimensions:covered an area of 6 acres50 meters high (187 feet)equivalent to a 12 story building189 meters (615 feet) long156 meters (510 feet) wideouter circumference of 545 meters (1,788 feet)the center arena measured 287' (feet long) by 180' (feet wide)
construction began in 70 CE, lasted until 80 CE (completed in 10 years)very impressive feat considering its massive size and the fact that everything was constructed and transported individually, by hand.no modern machinery!

Content:
massive, ellipse/oval-shaped ring
four main levels (can be thought of as registers!)levels 1-3 had evenly-spaced, arched windows around the entire circumference of the amphitheaterlevel 4 had a solid exterior wall, no windowsthis, being the highest section of seating, would be where the lower classes would sit (slaves, foreigners, women)
there would have been statuary figures in each window arch on levels 2 and 3, but not on level 1, because those arches served as doors that people would walk through to enter the amphitheater
above the 4th level, the upper rim of the colosseum was lined with bronze shields/spearsa glorious, dramatic, and impressive-looking decoration could be considered a 5th 'register'?however, not a separate floor of seating, only an independent register in the visual sense
flat stage filled with sand in centersand was to absorb blood and other bodily fluids from the fighting
seats angled up from the stage in every direction (shallow funnel)
the "hypogeum"the underground part of the Colosseum, which included animal pens, trapdoors, and a network of tunnels, was called the 'hypogeum'according to tribunesandtriumphs.org, "The hypogeum consisted of two-level subterranean network of tunnels and 32 animal pens. There were 80 vertical shafts provided instant access to the arena for animals and scenery. Large hinged platforms, called hegmata provided access for large animals"
the "velarium"a retractable awning that would cover the arena to provide shade for spectators
Three different orders of columns are used to support the archesLevel 1 = Tuscan (similar to Doric, but even more simplistic, and specific to ancient Rome)Level 2 = IonicLevel 3 = Corinthiancolumns are sturdier, more basic at the bottombecome more delicate, ornate higher upassociated with femininity?women sat in the highest level of seating

Function:
Public Entertainment (similar function as sports stadium)Romans came to watch gladiator fights, wild animal fights, mock naval battles, etc.violence and gore were popular sources of entertainment in ancient Rome

Context:
Original name was Flavian Amphitheaternamed after the family/dynasty who paid for its constructionEmperor Vespasian (r. 69-79 CE) was the first Emperor of the Flavian Dynasty"Colosseum" is just a nickname given later (in the Middle Ages?), because of the amphitheater's proximity to a colossal statue of the sun god.
Vespasian built the amphitheater as a gift to the people of Rome, to win their favor back after the greedy, insane, unpopular Nero (previous Roman Emperor before Vespasian)
Concept of Urban Planningunlike Greeks, who shaped their cities around the geography, Romans made the landscape work for themmore aggressive builderspower of man over naturealso necessitated better engineeringconcrete! arches!their used to be a lake where the Flavian Amphitheater was builtdrained the lake because they wanted a building theremuch more similar to how we (in western, urban cities) approach urban planning now
Focus on interior spaceshift from ancient Greek focus on exterior spacebest example is the Pergamon
Roman Social Status/CitizenshipDiscrimination was not based on color of skin, but on citizenshipIf you were a Roman citizen, race didn't matterRome was a very multi-ethnic empireIf you were not a citizen (woman, slave, etc), you were virtually nothingWithin the population of citizens, there were tiers to that hierarchy as wellsocial mobility was difficult, but less so than in Ancient Greecepeople were seated in the amphitheater according to statusupper-class patricians were seated closest to the stage, those of the lower class were seated farther up, and women, slaves, and foreigners were the farthest away from the action ("cheap seats" at the very top)
Reflects Roman Order, Discipline, and PowerPOWs, slaves, and non-citizens (not women) could win their freedom/citizenship by becoming gladiators and fighting to victoryThis was such a dangerous risk that it often resulted in the gladiator's death before earning that freedom.Different from Ancient Greece, where it was virtually unheard of for someone to become a citizencitizenship rules in Roman Empire were similar to America's immigration/citizenship rulestakes a long time and is difficult, but usually the second generation can earn citizenship if born in the Empire
FORM
- Apollodorus of Damascus was the engineer
- Almost the size of all the other imperial forms put together
o Very extravagant
o Had a massive entrance way
- The place where Trajan was to build was already covered with the forums from previous emperors
o So he got Apollodorus of Damascus to move a good portion of the hill that was in his way of building
- Ceremonial entrance way that leads into the forum
o Below is a depiction of the entrance way to the forum
o On the top is an image of Trajan being followed by the goddess of victory

past the forum was the Basilica Ulpia
o this was the largest Basicila in Rome
o we can still see some of it today; there are columns standing
- was filled with sculptures, carvings, free standing sculpture were found all around the forum
- colored marbles were found on the paving stones and the structures themselves
- beyond the basic Ulpia there was another entrance way
o this lead to two libraries
o in the middle of these two libraries was the column of Trajan

CONTENT
- Basicila Ulpia
o The Basicila laid the foundation for the modern cruciform church
o Called the Basilica Ulpia because that is Trajan's family name
- The free standing and other art that would have been scattering the forum depict the power of the emperors, politicians and military leaders of ancient Rome
o Throughout the forum, there were sculptures of captured Dacians
§ Represented them as noble to show they the Romans are all powerful and can defeat even noble men
- Column of Trajan
o The point was to see the stories of Trajan's military victories
o Specifically, the column highlights the battle in which Trajan defeated the Dacians
o Shows that he was proud of his military acts
o 125 feet tall, marks the height of the hill that was removed
- Libraries
o One was full of Greek literature, and the other was filled with Roman literature
o This shows how much the Romans were influenced and incorporated Greek life into their lives
§ This is shown through their copying of ancient Greek works as well
§ These libraries had porches, so one was able to study the column of Trajan from within the libraries
- Major theme= power
o This is represented by the free-standing sculptures of the defeated Dacians
o Also, the massive structure alludes to the massive power of Trajan
- Major theme = making nature subordinate to man's rule

CONTEXT
- Trajan expanded the Roman empire to its greatest boarders
- - the column was made to depict two major defeats of the Dacians for the Romans
- Trajan
o One of the most highly regarded Roman Emperors
o Best known for his public building program
- He was able to build so many things because of the large sum of money he brought home from the war on the Dacians
o Which is depicted all throughout the forum and is found in detail all around the Column of Trajan

FUNCTION
- civic space
- ceremonial space
- to represent the power of Trajan
- the detail of the art within it shows the importance the society placed on him and his accomplishments
Form
Corinthian columns in front are monolithic, made from marbleCorinthian: last developed, most ornate of the ordersimported from Egypt
the porch: rectilinear upon entry, the space opens up into a curvilinear, radial interior
structural system looks like it is based on a series of intersecting arches-eight in total, all where statues of deities would have been housed on the interior
structural system is actually dependent on concretethe concrete would have been built on wooden forms, which where then removed after the concrete driedthis allowed Romans to create vast interior spaces
the barrel is made from concrete, travertine, and tufa and the walls are made from brick and concrete
lighter materials used at the top of the dome
barrel=terrestrial, dome=divine
141 feet tall

originally used as a temple to the gods, then made into a church
Emperor Hadrian would hold court inside the Pantheon
originally contained sculptures of the gods and deified emperors, focused on the divine
was given to Pope Boniface the IV in 608 AD and was used as a Catholic Church (part of why it has been preserved so well)
an expression of Hadrian's wealth and power
the oculus's light functions similar to a sundial

Content
would have originally been fitted in bronze
nowadays, we step down to reach the Pantheon, but this is because the street level of Roma has risen through the years--originally would have risen above the street
the current-day Piazza, or square in front of the Pantheon, was originally a larger rectangular space framed by a colonnadethis would have covered up from view the conical back of the Pantheon, so visitors would have only seen the traditional column-front would have inspired a sense of shock and awe to enter and see the spherical interior
the pediment would have held a sculpture that acted out the battle of the titans
one enters through a set of massive bronze doors
the spherical inside completely fills a person's field of vision, and is representative of human power because it goes all the way to the limits of your sight
eight arches which would have housed statues of deities and emperors--the statues of Augustus and Agrippa stood in the apse at the end of the colonnaded side aisles of the entrance
the center-point of focus in the interior is right smack in the center, which helps create the spherical effect
huge amounts of geometric representation used on the inside--circles, rectangles, squares
the floor is tiled with concentric circles and squares
almost all of it is mathematically proportioned--for example, the columns on the interior line up perfectly with the fake windows on top of them, but these do not line up with the coffers of the dome, which gives the effect that the dome is independent from the barrel
coffers were originally painted and had gilded rosettes
hole in the top of the dome called the oculusone great windowwhen it rains, the water comes in!reflects the movement of the heavens because of how the sharp circle of light moves across the building

Context
best preserved ancient roman monument
synthesis of tradition and innovation
the Pantheon was commissioned by the Emperor Hadrian c. 125 AD (new info suggests it may have been started by Trajan before him)
representative of the Roman advance in architecture (mainly caused by the use of concrete that allowed spaces to open up) that a building could shape the space
most influential building in architecture in the Renaissance
replaced Commander Marcus Agrippa's pantheon that rested in the same placethe inscription above the doorway still reads as a tribute to Marcus Agrippabears no signature of Hadrian
later, Italian kings and Raphael of the Renaissance would be buried inside
Context:
sarcophagi start to appear more commonly in the beginning of the second century
found at a tomb near Porta Tiburtina (a gate in the Aurelian Walls of Rome)no one knows whose sarcophagus this is, but whoever it was was rich (to buy such a large piece of marble and high such a skilled sculptor would have been expensive)
created at a time in Roman history which was marked by instability and civil wars (and preceded by stability and peace)this historical shift is clear in the chaotic, complex nature of this piece
moves away from high classic Greek art (in fact, it's almost the opposite!)less focused on the beauty of the human body and more focused on the interactions between people
an example of the typical artistic style of Late Imperial Rome (also includes aspects common to the Late Antique period)this style is marked by emotional subject matters and a lack of realistic space
inspired by the Hellenistic style (as seen the movement and density of the composition)
named for its first modern owner, Ludovico Ludovisi
Form:
made of white marble
high (like REALLY HIGH) relief
some of the figures are almost completely disconnected from the base
incredibly detailed carvings made with a drillused to mimic the intensity and chaos of the battle
at some places, this piece has 4 layers of figures on top of on top of each other (!!!)
the figures along the bottom are physically smallermakes a viewer feel like they are looking down upon them
the sculptor uses shields and other aspects to frame and intentionally highlight certain figures
this piece greatly utilizes the alternation and contrast of light and darkness to guide a viewers eye
the shadows caused by the multiple layers of carving and the extremely high relief greatly contribute to the piece
Content:
generally the figures lack individuality
Romans = very clearly the noble soldiers and good guys in this piece. This can be seen through their appearance. The Romans have...attractive characteristicsserious expressionssmooth skin
The Goths/the Barbarians/The Gauls (celtic tribes that were in Western Europe) = the enemyThey are displayed disdainfully (in the same way the Greeks portrayed them) with...puffy cheeks and noseswild expressionsuncivilized, primitive featuresrough, uneven skin
The Hero - the man in the top center of the sarcophagusthe clear focal point (the only somewhat open space in the midst of a tangled mess)splayed outopen-chestedstrongfancy, heavy draped armorno weaponlikely a generalno helmet = invincible
Everything is MOVING!Movement is KEY to this piece.
a narrative piecethe sarcophagus displays dozen of stories through the individual interactions between figures
Function:
Created to mark the grave of a rich, unidentified Roman (many scholars believe that the sarcophagus belongs to the splayed-out-focal-point-man in the carvings)
Cross-cultural Comparisons: Relief Sculpture
Churning of the Ocean of Milk
Last Judgement at Conques
Stele of Hammurabi