Sunday, March 30, 2008

Theory on why verism was so important to the Romans.

It's a little interesting to see the change in Roman art and Greek art. After all, the Romans did adopt quite a bit of their culture after the Greeks and other civilizations. So what exactly made the Romans different than the others? Well, they were very realistic in their sculpture and art. They made their pieces extremely realistic. I think it's possible the Romans preferred a veristic side of sculpture because they wanted to leave their imprint on the world. I mean how can the world know who you are without knowing what you look like. Even though they modeled themselves after a lot of Greek ideas, they may have used verism to set them apart from other civilizations. They may have also used it as a sort of real life family tree. They often displayed the sculptures of their ancestors in their homes like little trophies of where they came from. Some people do the same thing today, by displaying their family crest on a wall or placing pictures on a wall. The sculptures could have also been used as heirlooms. Maybe they used them as conversation pieces when people visited their homes. It's not hard to imagine them saying "hey you see this scar above his right eye? Yeah, he got that fighting for the Roman republic." It's really quite a mystery as to why they chose to show every aspect of a person including their flaws, not to mention the fact that Augustus threw the realistic rule out, and wanted everything to depict him as young and powerful no matter what he looked like when he aged. However, as the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and that is exactly what happened when Vespasian came into rule. I guess beauty truly was in the eye of the beholder, or maybe just the ruler at time.

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