What is your theory on why verism in their art is so important to the Romans?
My theory as to why verism in Roman art is so important is as follows:
In my opinion Romans came from a very confident era. An era that was a lot like our own. The confidence of the Romans led them to verism affecting their art. They want their statues to look like who they are. The more realistic the better, because this makes them remembered by their characteristics and wisdom. In my opinion I think they had the right idea because a young leader statue makes them look arrogant and full of them selves. And the Roman leader statues look older and more distinguished wiser leaders. Being portrayed as a wise leader would be more honorable.
Also, the veristic type of art was a traditional republic tradition. It shows a person’s values along with the age of the person being sculpted. For example, see page 192 in our text “Portrait of Vespasian…” this marble statue shows his age with receding hair and wrinkles. Not a grotesque statue at all even though it shows this veristic type of art. A person cannot know someone if they have not seen them in the rough.
The “Portrait bust of a Flavian woman…” found on the same page 192 in our text really shows just how skilled these artists were. They show every detail even with the younger statues. If you notice they show the smile creases, every hair with in her eyebrows, and the way they made her curls crisp and clean. She was obviously dressed up for a gathering of some kind or maybe she was just modeling for the artist. The artist even shows the faint lines in the neck, these are some detailed works of art.
Way more advanced than the Greek goddesses statues if you ask me, see chapter five in our text for examples. The "Aphrodite.." on page 146 can be compared to the "Portrait bust of a Flavian woman..." on page 192 to help see the detail of the Roman statues. The Romans had it figured out when it came to detail, not only were they detailed in their statue art but some of their construction shows just as much detail if not more. See page 215 in our text, "Arch of Constantine...".
Misty J Slavens