Description: The objective is to present the Hystory through Art, passing by Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, The Middle Age, The Renaissance, The Baroque, The Romantism, The Enlightenment, The Pre-Modern Era, …
The art of Ancient Greece is one of her greatest gifts to posterity.But when one thinks of Ancient Rome …… her gladiators, her government, or perhaps her armies are the conspicuous mementos.
True, the vividly colored murals at Pompeii are spectacular. So are the murals in neighboring towns, also preserved by the eruption of
Vesuvius in 79 A.D.
But Pompeii and its neighbors were gay seaside resorts, only provincial cousins of Rome. According to descriptions by Roman historians, the wall paintings in Rome itself far surpassed these from Pompeii.
Indeed, it is probably because there is little else that survives to compare with it, that we prize the art of Pompeii and its neighbors so highly. Is this to say, then, that Roman art has little merit, that it is a second-rate rerun of the glorious Greek art which preceded it?
The relative merits of Greek and Roman art have been debated by scholars for centuries. Let’s leave the debate to the scholars and turn instead to a more meaningful way in which all art may be judged: that is, as a reflection of the culture that produced it.
Just as pop art, like it or not, will give future ages a meaningful image of
our society and its values …
… so Roman art is an excellent indicator of what mattered to people in Roman times. And just as our tastes change and develop in succeeding generations, so did those of Ancient Rome. The changes were reflected in simple things, like hair styles … and dress … and in more complicated things, like housing … places of worship … and imperial monuments.
Changes in taste can also be seen in portraiture–from the idealistic, on the
left, to the realistic on the right … and in the subject matter depicted in household and public decoration from elaborate mythological scenes … to simple decorative motifs.
Published: February 10, 2008 2:08 am