Sunday, April 4, 2010

Roman Verism

Verism can be defined as a very stiff and rigid representation of reality. The word verism comes from the Latin word verus meaning true. It is a true depiction of reality. This aspect of art was very important to the Romans who used it most in their sculptures and busts. They were willing to shoe the subjects imperfections such as wrinkles, warts, and blemishes. Verism is regarded as the most “roman” of all the artistic styles.

One reason why the Romans might stuck with the versim styles so well is for the purpose of ancestral portraits. The Romans might have wanted to get a proper representation of themselves so later generations might be able to identify them as one of their own. They might have wanted to make a accurate representation of their history.

Another explanation for such the prominent use of verism art in the Roman culture was the Romans obsession of power. The more realistic and rigid a portrait that was displayed of a person with wrinkles and warts of a man, the more powerful he could come across as. I think that this is why a lot of verism art is mostly of aged men. If there was a marble bust a man in his twenties with soft and smooth skin it might come across as more of a baby face. Verism was able to make them look more strong and powerful. The look of strength and dominance was important if they were going to be the largest empire in the world.

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