Saturday, March 21, 2009

Verism in Rome

Verism, meaning true, is a concept that the Romans took very seriously in their art. Unlike the Greeks who believed in perfection, the Romans were people who believed in the truth of the imperfection. The older you were, the more power and knowledge you had. Romans wanted to be portrayed with all the imperfections they had, including every wrinkle and scare. A great example of this concept of verism is a Roman marble sculpture of the head of a Roman patrician on page 173 of Gardner's Art Through the Ages. The sculpture is of an elderly man with wrinkles showing the age of time. He probably looked very similar if not exactly like this sculpture. Most times, sculptures were found with just a head and no body. The Romans believed the head was the most important part, unlike the Greeks who believed the body was just as important as the head. The Romans wished to be remembered how they were, not how people wanted them to look. They were proud people and proud of every imperfection. I believe that this is a good concept to have. There is nothing that is fake or unbelievable, it is all true to life. This concept was so important to the Romans, so that they could leave a lasting memory forever of who they really were, whether the intention was to create an exact portrait of someone of power or make a statement about personality. The Romans had the right idea, they left their mark and lasting impressions of who they really were for all to see. 

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