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Sculpture

Examples of Roman sculpture survive abundantly, though often in damaged or fragmentary condition, including freestanding statues and statuettes in marble, bronze and terracotta, and reliefs from public buildings, temples, and monuments such as the Ara Pacis, Trajan's Column, and the Arch of Titus. Niches in amphitheatres such as the Colosseum were originally filled with statues, and no formal garden was complete without statuary.
 
Temples housed the cult images of deities, often by famed sculptors. The religiosity of the Romans encouraged the production of decorated altars, small representations of deities for the household shrine or votive offerings, and other pieces for dedicating at temples. Divine and mythological figures were also given secular, humorous, and even obscene depictions.
 
On the Ludovisi sarcophagus, an example of the battle scenes favoured during the Crisis of the Third Century, the "writhing and highly emotive" Romans and Goths fill the surface in a packed, anti-classical composition
 
Sarcophagi
 
Elaborately carved marble and limestone sarcophagi are characteristic of the 2nd to the 4th centuries with at least 10,000 examples surviving. Although mythological scenes have been most widely studied, sarcophagus relief has been called the "richest single source of Roman iconography," and may also depict the deceased's occupation or life course, military scenes, and other subject matter. The same workshops produced sarcophagi with Jewish or Christian imagery.
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