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Roman, Julio-Claudian ImperialPortrait of Caligula, God, and Ruler - Research Paper Example

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Art is created for many reasons. The reasons, purposes of art as well as art forms and expressions are changing according to the times and socio-cultural context of the contemporary society. At times, the things designed for practical purposes become objects of art…
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Roman, Julio-Claudian ImperialPortrait of Caligula, God, and Ruler
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Download file to see previous pages Primitive in the Stone Age, sculpture developed to bear full resemblance of the object of art expression. Development of crafts, materials and instruments allowed Greek artists to reach perfection in their art works. Roman art was highly influenced and followed the traditions of Etruria and Greece (Pollitt 6) Sculpture was used as a mean to preserve images of the ancestors. Therefore portrait sculpture emerged and developed. Typical material for sculpture was bronze, marble, or terracotta. Monuments and sculptures were also erected to commemorate military or political achievements. Roman Cesar Gaius Germanicus, better known by his pet name Caligula was born in 12 AD. He was confirmed by Senate as an emperor at the age on twenty-five. (Pollitt 102) The people welcomed young emperor. He shown mercy to those in exile, reinstalled his family as imperial. However, soon his relationship with the Senate was strained. The new emperor had poor health and became mentally unstable. His reign was full of violence, sadism and perversion. Simple men suffered his cruelty along with the nobility. He was assassinated by his praetorians only four into his rule. Caligula was megalomaniac. From the beginning of his reign tenaciously was destroying statues of great men. According to Suetonius, “He (Caligula) broke them in pieces to such an extent that it has not been possible to restore them with their inscription intact.”(Pollitt 136) Instead, he proclaimed himself a god. Monuments were erected and imperial portraits created to feature his human image as divine nature. The imperial portrait was usually displayed in the imperial temple. The Emperor was to be worshiped during his lifetime, and Caligula was even worshiped to the excess to the opinion of the Senate. The imperial image established by Augustus was upheld – the face shape designed hairstyle and carefully carved hair locks. The sculptures were powerful tools in political propaganda, along with the coinage. After Caligula’s death his images were destroyed the same way he was destroying those of others. Not many portraits are preserved. One of them is an imperial Portrait of the Emperor Caligula, God and Ruler which is displayed in the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Clearly defined and well-known features also replicated in the coins issued during his reign. It is likely that this bronze head was meant to be a focal point of a temple, however, it is difficult to say for certain. If the purpose and the meaning of Roman sculpture are clearly defined, it is not so with the art works from the ancient times, such as the Woman from Willendorf statuette. A statuette discovered by the archeologist Josef Szombathy in 1908 near Austrian town Willendorf in loess deposit during railroad construction. The excavations on the site had started well over 20 years prior to figurine discovery and many artifacts were found, first by the land owner, then by archeologists. The flint tools, human skeletons, tools made out of animal bones, shells, decorations were found at the site. Many of them are displayed in the Venusium – a museum at Willendorf devoted to the discovery of Woman of Willendorf figurine and other finds from the near-by archeological sites. The Woman of Willendorf statuette or as it more often called, Venus of Willendorf, is displayed at The Vienna Natural History Museum. When the statuette was found, it was dated approximately 15 000 to 10 000 BC. With the technology development and new methods of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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