Roman Art Flashcards Preview

Art History > Roman Art > Flashcards

Flashcards in Roman Art Deck (15)
Loading flashcards...

How did the Roman culture become Hellenized?

-during the republic (450 years), Rome conquered the rest of Italy and expanded outwards to include places like France and Greece
-Greek influenced Rome in architecture, literature, statues, wall painting, mosaics, pottery, and glass


What brought an end to the Roman Republic?

-Greek culture brought Greek gold→ generals/senators fought over this wealth
-civil war→ Romans empire


How did Augustus become the first emperor?

-Octavian (later Augustus; adopted son of Caesar) defeated Cleopatra and Mark Antony at Actium
-was only the first citizen and ruled by consent of the Senate→ supreme Authority


How did the success of the Roman empire depend of the emperor?

-service to the empire/emperor was key to advancement
-if the emperor was weak→ end in bloodshed/chaos
3rd century CE→ empire was threatened by economic crisis, weak/short-lived emperors/usurpers and barbarians


What factors contributed to the collapse of the Roman empire?

-financial pressure
-urban decline
-underpain troops
-overstretched frontiers
-barbarian invasions


What were some of the influences on Roman art?

-Rome= melting pot
-expansion= influenced from many countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia
-Greek, Etruscan, and Egyptian influences
-hard for specialists to define what is “Roman” about Roman art


What did Roman art communicate about the emperor?

-after Augustus’s rise to power, art was put in service of the leader
-indicate shifts in leadership?


What are some of the Classicizing elements of imperial art?

-influences form the Classical and Hellenistic periods of Greek Art
-smooth lines, elegant drapery, idealized nude bodies, highly naturalistic forms, balanced proportions


Roman art in the public sphere

-commissioned by emperor
-portraits of imperial family/bath houses decorated with classical statues (copies)
-commemorative works→ triumphal arches/columns
-victories, war, military life
-foreign lands/ enemies of state
-emperor’s domestic/foreign policy
-religious art


Sculpture of Augustus of Prima Porta

-the breastplate depicts the Roman victory over the Parthians
-used by Tiberius as propaganda so the view would recall the important role his father played in securing the Roman Empire
-based on the Doryphoros (Canon) by Polykleitos)--> ideal human proportions
-Augustus wanted to portray himself as a perfect leader (flawless) with the power and authority of an emperor who had the capacity to stabilize a society and empire


Pont du Gard

-how was it contructed
-part of a 50 km long contruction
-mixture of limestone, sand, water, and broken tiles⇒ center conduit of Pont Du Gard
-used for 400 years



-Vespasian wanted to replace the tyrannical emperor’s private lake with a public amphitheater
-it as freestanding, not dug into a hillside
-had an awning (velarium)
-held 50,000 ppl; gladiator contest, mock naval engagements


Column of Trajan

-built to commemorate the emperor’s successful military campaigns against the Dacians in central-east Europe
-chronological (army prep to engagement in battle to victory)
-100 ft tall
-story is 600 ft if unraveled



-temple for the gods→ sanctified church→ tourist attraction
-circular and radial→ has a central point and radiates out from that point
-perfect sphere
-lots of geometrical shapes→ ideal geometries
-oculus= perfect circle; movement of the heavens/ sun---> like a sundial
-concrete could be molded (thick outer layer of concrete to keep the dome from falling)


Arch of Constantine

-while preparing, Constantine saw the sign of Christ in the heavens (the cross)
-God interfered with history
-Edict of Milan= granted religious toleration for Christianity( before it outlawed)
-inscription= Constantine identified as Emperor, Caesar, greatest, pious, blessed Augustus
-liberty from a tyrant
-reliefs= taken from monuments made for earlier Emperors→ artistic decline
-Trajan, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius= 3 greatest Roman emperors of the 2nd century
-connection between Constantine and Rome’s past glory
-constantine is beardless→ like Greek philosophers→ dynastic link to Constantine and the new Augustus