Tag Archives: Roman Art

Constantine the Great, c. 315, marble, 8½ feet tall, Palazzo dei Conservatori, Musei Capitolini, Rome, Photo by Camille King via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.

Constantine’s Big Ol’ Head

Not long after the Roman Emperor Constantine defeated his foe Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, wresting control of the Roman Empire, he left Italy in 324 CE to found Constantinople, which is present-day Istanbul. This is not … Continue reading

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Just a Second: Ambulatory

Ambulatory (noun) A place for walking, usually an aisle in a church around the apse. In Santa Costanza in Rome, the mausoleum for the Roman Emperor Constantine’s daughter Constantina, the ambulatory is circular and goes around a space where the … Continue reading

© 2013 . All rights reserved.

The Roman Colosseum: A Great Space for a (Completely) Different Kind of Game

Nothing brings an empire together like a good mock naval battle – at least, that’s what the Roman emperor Vespasian always said.  Following the welcome demise of the reign of the Julio-Claudian emperors with the death of Nero and a … Continue reading

The Arch of Constantine, Rome, 312-315 CE, Photo by Xerones via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution license.

The Arch of Constantine: What’s with the Bad Sculpture?

Actually, only some of the sculptures are bad… and only compared to others on the same monument.  Art historians refer to this as a problem.  At the very least, it’s curious. The Emperor Constantine built this triumphal arch to commemorate his … Continue reading

Head of a Roman Patrician from Otricoli, c. 75-50 BCE, Marble, 1’ 2” high, Museo Torlonia, Rome, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Just a Second: Verism

Verism (noun) From the Latin word meaning “true,” verism is the name of a style of portraiture that is hyperrealistic and emphasizes individual features. The Romans created veristic portraits of older men most likely because the style conveyed experience as … Continue reading

Aullus Metellus, early 1st century BCE, Bronze, 5’9”, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Florence, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Augustus of Primaporta: Spin City

Perhaps the Romans were not the most original artists, but they really knew how to work with what they borrowed. This is the first Roman emperor, Augustus, which means, “Supreme Ruler.” He was the grandnephew and adopted son of Julius … Continue reading

Anonymous Artist, The Emperor Hadrian, c. 127, marble, Musée du Louvre, Paris. Photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.

The Pantheon: Making Connections

The Roman emperors surely did not invent political propaganda, but they were experts at it. The Emperor Hadrian paid for and may have designed The Pantheon which is a religious temple dedicated to all of the Roman Gods and members … Continue reading