Sunday, April 4, 2010

Verism in Rome

Rome was quite an interesting culture. They were it seems, copy cats in a lot of ways. But, copy catting was what made their art famous if you think about it. They focused in on every wrinkle, blemish, or hair that made a person unique. They created true portraits of people, no matter what they looked like. Why did they do this? That, I do not know. They soaked up the culture of every land they conquered, Greece being one of the most namely. But the Greeks portrayed their people as perfect--almost godly in form. So why did the Romans, who loved the Greeks, start shifting to a more realistic style of portraying people? I like to think that maybe they had come to terms with who they really were, and wanted to be known for what they actually looked like. These days, people are photographed, so we know exactly what they look like (minus a few photoshop touch-ups). I mean, whats the point in having a statue to make you famous if people look at it, then look back at you, then back at the statue and say, “that’s not you!”? I think that verism was important to them as family photo albums are to us today. You want to know what your great great uncle Frank looked like. Or maybe I’m completely wrong….but, thats opinion, right?

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