Roman Art & Architecture

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Transcript Roman Art & Architecture

Roman Art & Architecture
Ara Pacis
‘Altar of Augustan Peace’
13-9 B.C.
It is built in the Field of Mars/Campus Martius
The Altar of Peace
Altar/Relief Sculpture
It is made all of marble from Italy
Relief scultpure is raised stone silhouette. It is produced
by carving away the background.
It is meant to be seen and its function is to inform.
Mix of human and divine.
It was created in honour of Augustus for after he
passified the Gauls and Spaniards. It was a gesture of
public thanks and was dedicated on 30th January 9 B.C
Propaganda/to honour Augustus for bringing
Width – 11.6m Length – 10.5m Height 7m
Tufa for the core
Travertine (limestone)
Carrara Marble
The Parthenon
Altar of Pity in the Agora
Allegorical scene and the West side shows a
The outer wall is
called the precinct.
Altar raised and
faces due east.
Lower Register Precinct (outer wall)
Is decorated all the way around with a floral
scene of swirling tendrils that finish in Acanthus
leaves. Petals, lizards, snakes, birds, scenes from
nature. Intricate detail. Panel appears alive.
In several places a swan takes pride of place.
The swan is sacred to Apollo who is Augustus’
patron diety.
Lower Register Precinct (outer wall)
Inside Wall Lower Register
Wood symbolises the enclosure around
the Ara Pacis while it was being built.
The interior was is decorated with three
Upper Register, inside Wall Precint
Bulls heads, garlands, Patera (Paterae,
sacrificial bowls). These may represent a
sacrifice at the dedication of the altar.
Garlands which adorn the bulls heads
have fruit from all 4 season to signifiy that
Augustan peace is present through the
whole year.
Precinct, Upper Register, West Side
Panel 1
Aeneas, Iulus, Lares and Penates (household gods in
the shrine). They link back to Aeneas and the fall of
Aeneas wears vail to symbolise piety.
Aeneas sacrficing the Lavinian sow to the Lares and
Penates. The Lavinian sow myth is one of the
foundation myths of Rome. This frieze is destined to
link Augustus to divine ancestry and piety.
Panel 2
Another foundation myth of Rome. Romulus and
Remus suckling the shewolf. Mars, their father, looks
Precinct, Upper Register, West Side
Precinct, Upper Register, West Side
Both panels are linked:
Show animal and the implication for ROme of
their discovery
Foundation myths
R & R divinity suggests Romes divinty. Aeneas
connects Aeneas with divine heritage.
Precinct, Upper Frieze, East Side
East Panel: Tellus Relief
The central figure is Mother Earth, voluptuous and very
fertile. This represents new life, peace and all things
good about the Roman empire.
Tellus sits on a Rocky outcrop amidst nature. She holds
two chubby infants who appear healthy.
Drapery is billowy and body can be seen underneath.
Tellus has fruits and grains in her lap, well fed livestock.
Two maidens with their cloaks billowing represent salt
water (dragon) and fresh water (swan). Reign spreads
over whole world (seas)
There has been controversy over whether this is actually
Tellus or the goddess Pax (peace), who would be
surrounded by the bounty of Augustan Peace.
Precinct, Upper Frieze, East Side
Precinct, Upper Frieze, East Side
Panel 2
Roma, Goddess enthroned on a pile of
Too Fragmented.
Precinct, Upper Frieze, South Side
Procession of either 9 B.C. dedication or 13 B.C.
Symbolic procession of religious representative and
imperial family.
Augustus had his head shrouded (piety) links with
Aeneas on W.S. He’s conducting a sacrifice.
Priests with candles on their heads (flamines).
Augustus’ family led by Agrippa who dies in 12 B.C., his
wife Lavinia and daughter Julia. This is an idea of strong
family representing his political ideaology of children =
wealth. Large families were provided with a tax
incentive, unmarried adults were penalised. Children
represent public faith in the Julio-Claudian destiny.
Height of figures are varied, this draws the observers
eye up and down the procession, adding interest.
Precinct, Upper Frieze, South Side
Precinct, Upper Frieze, North Side
Senators wearing wreths and members of
Rome’s most important priesthoods.
End of procession standing slightly apart
from the group is women and children,
minor members of Augustus’ family.
Precinct, Upper Frieze, North Side
Facing due east
Central section is fragmentary: maybe
goddess Pax and other gods and
goddesses gathered to receive sacrifice.
Raised ends: vestal virgins and their
servants. Animal being led to sacrifice.
Probably two narratives: the sacrifice and
rituals that take place at the altar.
Tellus is Mother Earth, likes peace and is surrounded by all
Four symbols of fertility from the east side:
- water
- children
- Fruit/vegetaion/animals
- Mother Earth
The main message behind the Ara Pacis is peace and
harmony to all in the Roman Empire. The Emperor is
great to bring this peace.
Again on the North side we see a Historical procession.
Augustus himself is present is represented as a pious
person, with his head bowed as if he is about to conduct a
Aeneas – the founder of Rome
Through war Rome was founded. Augustus wouldn’t have
his peace without War.
On which monument is this relief? Ara Pacis
When was this monument erected? 13-9 BC
Which emperor was this built in honour of?
What political idea does the name of the
monument promote? Peace
Describe the TWO reliefs on this monument that
relate to the mythical origins of Rome. Romulus
and Remes and Aeneas
Describe in detail, what is depicted on this plate.
What is the symbolic significance of the features
you have described. This plate is the Tellus relief
(mother earth) holding two children at her are
sheep and cow, holding a bowl of fruit.
There are two women either side of Tellus.
THese are representations of nature – air and
wind shown by the billowing of the cloaks/ Fresh
and salt water. THe natural elements of the
earth. The left lady is sitting on a swan which is
the symbol of Apollo.
Describe in detail, what is depicted on the
northen and southern side of this monument.
How is a feeling of movement and depth created
in these two long friezes?