230 Module 4 Roman Art and Architecture Class Discussion 1 Roman Portraits

Roman Portraits

Many feel that the artform of the portrait was invented in Roman Art. The death mask was cast just after someone died. It captured every detail.

In Greek art we see the ideal figure, youth captured with all of the perfection seen in someone 18 years old. In Roman art, naturalism is more favored, sculpture revealing a scar, or thinning hair, the wrinkles that come with experience.

Look at the portrait of the older woman from the Met in New York :


She is presented as she is, experienced; and weathered in the face.


Research images of people in Roman art, finding portraits of famous figures, or finding images of average folks. Share websites with the class.

What were their key roles in Roman Society?What types of jobs did they perform?

What was life like for the Roman men, and woman?

This might include a discussion of the Dionysiac Mystery Frieze from the Villa of Mysteries, Pompeii. In other words, you may discuss mythical men, or woman, as well as real figures in Roman society and art.

We know Julius Caeser, was their a Julie Caeser, or a woman who represented power,wealth, etc?

Was the Roman world anything like ours? Did ancient Rome have anything in common with modern society here, or abroad?


I want everyone to contribute to the class discussion 2 images of portraits found in Roman Art. You are also required to reply with additional research to other posts in class.

As always, you should be posting a minimum of three times during the entire module. To get credit, you must also begin your first posts by the fourth day of the module.

Example: The Ara Pacis. In the center is the face of mother earth (Telles). Her face influenced Michelangelo’s creation of Mary in his early masterpiece, Pieta.

What is the subject behind your chosen representation of man / women?

Is their a special meaning behind the sculpture, relief, painting?

How does the image make you feel? Is it a positive image, or a negative image?

Give a website for each of the images that you have chosen.

Go beyond the text, do some research on a website, and share with the class.

REMEMBER THE ART RESEARCH SITES : USING WITCOMBE, I found the portrait collection below. It would be a great place to start this assignment.

Also this online text.


The Tom and Nan Riley Collection of

Do a Google of the above, if link does not work for you, Mr. S.

All of the web sites below can help you research art topics.


Art History Resources on the Web


Metropolitan Museum Website/Timeline of Art History



http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/03.12.13/  Roman Sculpture

Subject: Metropolitan Museum Website/Timeline of Art History


Use the above link, and explore a great new web based Art Education site. Mr. S.



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