Each person will select one question from the different sculpture and architecture questions below. In a short paragraph, answer the question. Compose your individual paragraph (between 4-8 sentences each)
Select one of these four questions to answer in a short paragraph:
Sculpture #1: In a paragraph, compare the sculptures Augustus of Primaporta and Equestrian Sculpture of Marcus Aurelius, explaining the following three elements: Who is depicted? What is the meaning and symbolism of the various attributes of power included in each sculpture? Explain what is idealized about Augustus’ or Marcus Aurelius’ appearance and what is naturalistic about their appearance. Explain how it is influenced by and relates to Greek sculpture and why.
Sculpture #2: In a paragraph, explain the historical information conveyed in the sculpture of the four Tetrarchs, explaining what it tells us about Roman rule and how its appearance reflects its purpose. Explain where in its appearance this sculpture abandons naturalism and what is stylized about the representation of the figures? Explain what attributes of power are communicated through the appearance of the four tetrarchs. Explain why all of these things are important characteristics for a sculpture used to communicate the rule by tetrarchy rather than by an emperor?
Architecture #1: Select two of the three following architectural monuments: the Ara Pacis; the Pantheon; or the Arch of Constantine. In a short comparative paragraph, explain why each structure was built and its purpose. Explain what is innovative about its construction and/or design and appearance. Explain several symbolic elements and their meaning in the design of the building or the information conveyed by either the sculptural reliefs or sculptures associated with the structure.
Architecture #2: Select two of the three following architectural monuments: the Column of Trajan; the Arch of Titus; and the Arch of Constantine. In a short comparative paragraph, explain who, when and what each monument was built to commemorate. Explain how the imagery in the sculptural reliefs communicates the narrative to viewers. Explain several symbolic elements and their meaning in the relief imagery. What about this monument is important or unique in its design and appearance.
COMPARISONS: In a thorough comparison, there is a balance between the two subjects. In a comparison, if one artwork is idealized, then discuss if the other one is also idealized or if by comparison, it is naturalistic. In short, what you say about one should be compared and contrasted with the other for similarities and differences and the overall content should be balanced between the two subjects.
COMMENTS: Select and review an answer from a category that you did not discuss in your post (for example, if you answered a sculpture question, select to review a question about one of the architectural monuments and vice versa). Review the answer. Expand on the information by contributing any further information that should be included and commenting on the clarity of the content as written.
Use links below for resources:
On smarthistory.org, read essay ‘Introduction to ancient Rome’.
And essay ‘Introduction to ancient Roman art’.
Optional/Recommended: ‘Roman architecture’ essay.
Read Met’ short overview essay ‘The Roman Republic’ (6th Century BC until 1st Century BC). (Consider how the form of rule in the early Republic was different from the form of government and rule in Greece.)
Read short essay about sculpture Head of a Roman Patrician (75 – 50 BC).
Watch Artist Project series 3 video of artist Diana Al-Hadid discussing the wall paintings from an ancient villa in Boscoreale, Italy (50 – 40 BC), now installed in the Met Museum.
Optional/Recommended: Watch video about ‘Painted Garden: Villa of Livia’ (30- 20 BC). (Livia was the wife of Emperor Augustus.)
After approx. 500 years of a Republic, leadership switched to a series of dynasties and emperors who ruled the Roman Empire for the next approx. 450 years. Read the Met’s overview essay ‘The Roman Empire’ (27 BC – 393 AD) to familiarize yourself with the various dynasties and some of the accomplishments of different emperors (do not record each individual dynasty or emperor, but take note of the different accomplishments individual emperors were known for).
Read Met’s short essay ‘Augustan Rule’ (27 BC – 14 AD); Augustus was the first Roman emperor after the civil wars that ended the Republic.
Watch video about sculpture Augustus of Primaporta (there is also an essay about this artwork if you prefer reading similar information).
Watch video about the Ara Pacis (Augustan Rule; 27 BC – 14 AD).
Watch video Portrait Bust of a Flavian Woman (Flavian Dynasty (69 – 96 AD). (Part 1 of 2 videos; 2nd video optional)
Watch video about the Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheater; 69 AD).
Watch video about the sculptural relief from the Arch of Titus (79 – 81 AD).
Watch video about Column of Trajan (98 – 117 AD).
Read essay or watch video about the building, the Pantheon (built by Hadrian; dedicated between 118 – 125 AD):
Read short essay The Antonine Dynasty (138– 193 AD).
Watch video about Equestrian Sculpture of Marcus Aurelius (161 – 180 AD).
Watch video about sculpture Portrait of the Four Tetrarchs (284 – 385 AD).
Watch video ‘Visualizing Imperial Roman’.
Watch video about The Colossus of Constantine (337 – 363 AD).
Watch video of Arch of Constantine.
Optional: explore and survey the timeline of Roman Emperors. Text in blue is either an essay or hover over a number to view an artwork from the Met’s collection related to an emperor.
The post Roman Art
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