A Companion to Roman Art by Barbara E. Borg

By Barbara E. Borg

A significant other to Roman Art encompasses a number of inventive genres, historical contexts, and smooth ways for a complete advisor to Roman art.

• Offers accomplished and unique essays at the examine of Roman art

• Contributions from exclusive students with unrivalled services masking a large diversity of foreign approaches

• Focuses at the socio-historical facets of Roman paintings, protecting numerous themes that experience now not been offered in any aspect in English

• Includes either shut readings of person artwork works and common discussions

• Provides an outline of major elements of the topic and an creation to present debates within the field

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Furthermore, the sort of works that we generally call “Roman art” fulfill our modern, post‐Romantic expectations of art very effectively. Roman portraits and historical reliefs, for example, are original creations of their own time; they are “expressive” of the age in which they were made, and they clearly embody Roman cultural values. Nevertheless, art historians understandably try to play up those aspects of Roman works that most effectively answer our modern expectations, and play down those aspects that thwart them.

Brunilde Ridgway, Elaine Gazda, Ellen Perry, and Miranda Marvin (among others) have all become strong proponents of this view. They have sought to make the surviving statues more acceptable to modern audiences by asserting first of all that they are not copies: Elaine Gazda titled one of her review articles “Roman copies: The unmaking of a modern myth” (Gazda 1995a); while Miranda Marvin speaks explicitly of the modern “copy myth” (Marvin 2008). Next, they have argued that even where we have a whole series of statues that reproduce a particular prototype (like the figures that we have been considering), this prototype is just as likely a Roman contemporary creation in classical style as a Greek classical original (Gazda 1995b, 133).

Art? The term “art” is at least as contested and elusive. Conventionally, and at least when we disregard modern art, it is applied to everything that is nice to look at and required some advanced skills to be produced. Yet what exactly does it take to deny an object the title of “art”? How much skill is needed to make an object acceptable as “art”? How beautiful does it need to be? And according to whose judgment? The term also carries the baggage of the modern concept of “art as such,” of art as the product of the genius artist who creates a piece of art out of his (rarely her) own mind and spirit, merely for contemplation, and without regard for the object’s purpose or function.

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