Author(s): Norbert Wolf
Fine Arts | No Category
For a long time, Roman art was somewhat overshadowed by the art of ancient Greece. It was only in about 1900 that a search began for ancient Roman art and architecture. The foundations of Roman imagery were laid in the early days of the Empire under Emperor Augustus. The imperial court and the imperial family were role models for artistic style, taste and fashion - trendsetters, so to speak, which imperial society was obliged to follow. It was at court that the "new" took shape, pieced together from the vocabulary of Greek originals, copies and imitations as well as new creations, but fulfilling entirely new functions and expressing new meanings. The portrait of the ruler and the so-called state reliefs, which enhanced and embroidered real events, by depicting gods for example, had a particular influence in the shaping of the imagery. Using classical stylistic means, Roman art was able to fulfill all the desires and ideas of its patrons for more than two centuries.
Featured works include: Augustus of Primaporta; Gemma Augustea; Lycurgus beaker; funerary relief of the Roman couple Publius Aiedius and Publia Aiedia; Constantine I in a helmet with the christogram; the portrait of a man, the so-called Brutus; equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius; colossal portrait of Emperor Constantine I; group statue of the Emperors Diocletian, Maximian, Galerius and Constantine I, the "tetrarch group"; personifications of Macedonia and Persia. Each book in TASCHEN's "Basic Genre" series features: a detailed introduction with approximately 35 photographs, plus a timeline of the most important events (political, cultural, scientific, etc.) that took place during the time period; and a selection of the most important works of the epoch; each is presented on a 2-page spread with a full-page image and, on the facing page, a description/interpretation of the work and brief biography of the artist as well as additional information such as a reference work, portrait of the artist, and/or citations
Norbert Wolf has published books on medieval art, Piranesi, Velazquez and Romantic painting, including TASCHEN's Basic Art titles on Velazquez, Kirchner, Friedrich, Holbein, Durer, and Giotto and Codices Illustres: The World's Most Famous Illuminated Manuscripts. He lives in Munich. Michael Siebler studied classical archaeology and earned his doctoral degree through his study of the Roman Mars Ultor. He has taken part in several excavations, for example at Olympia, and after receiving his doctorate he initially worked in the German Archaeological Institute in Damascus. Subsequently he was a research associate at the Institute for Classical Archaeology at Mainz University and then a long-standing editor of the feature pages of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. He currently works as a freelance writer, and since 1990 has published various works on Troy and Olympia.