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Art lecture 1- july 8 .docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Flora Ward

Art- Lecture 1 Roman Empire  Focused on Mediterranean but went pretty far north  Medieval: what happened after Rome  Focusing on AD- anadomony -> in the ‘’year of our Lord; after Christ  How implicitly Christian the entire history is in the middle ages  There’s also other calendars to date things  Emperor Augustus: he was a big deal. Roman Empire doubled in size under his reign; his reign marks the beginning of the Roman Empire  Artistic patrognage was an important way of legitimating his position as emperor, so he used art to express his new political identity, using familiar Roman language to convey ideas  He was a busy man; he’s also known as a piece of Augustus  Time of peace and prosperity  Under augustus, we’re entering in this brave new world as peace and prosperity for everyone  Combination of innovation and tradition in art  Doryphoros: 500bc. Classical greek statue. Contropostal-> weight balanced onto hip  Augustus trying to portray himself as military leader  Arm stretched pose: avlacuteo -> to address someone  It was meant to be publicly viewed and receive this information about who he was presenting himself as  One of these vanquished foes is returning a legionary standards to a Roman and military address  Personifications on the chest of the statue: conquered people and lands. Son and moon as individuals; below is earth (land) and she’s reclining a corneo copia (horn filled with food), agriculture fertility  Agustus is presenting himself as an ideal leader -> celestial frame ; he’s making big claims about himself and his rules  Golden age of peace and prosperity-> Ara pacis (Altar of Peace)  lots of references to mythological and historical events  decoration of this alter is divided into registers, bottom and top (figural imagery, depicting elaborate precession)  natural world in harmony with the political world  the ornament does have meaning, not just flowers  Inside is the alter itself-> around it, are the walls, different carvings on the east and west side  Historical events, personification, ornaments  Picture of mother with children: Conveying the ideas of fertility and abundance  Picture of many people wearing robes: There’s no way that they were all present in this precession ; this was kind of a fantasy of the people involved -> idealization - we can tell clearly the figure of augustus - Essential to the meaning is the function it has as an altar -> you perform sacrifices -> For Roman religion, sacrifice involved pouring liquids (wines, etc), burning incense, and sometimes sacrificing animals - Roman religion: sacrifices being central, but other than that, it’s incredibly flexible and open to new deities - Adaptability -> include new cults in their new pantheons - Important changes: he inaugurates as an empire as opposed to a republic; he was first emperor who claimed the right to say he was a priests -> before that, priests were only elected by people - Priests were not holy; their job was to ensure that rituals were performed correctly; they only had the authority as priests during rituals and that’s it - The changes in Roman religion that began under Augustus were secular and worldly and divinely sanctioned leader - Later emperors also sought to harvest art as their political means  Column of Trajan: Trajan became emperor , but this finished after he died, after his death he was declared God.  part of a larger complex, consisting of a large plaza or forum, and in addition, there was a basilica, for public use.  Intended to be seen by the people of Rome. These monuments are talking to people.  100 ft tall marble column on a large rectangular base, with the emperor himself on top  it housed the ashes of the emperor  Inside this column, there’s a spiral staircase  Most unique feature is the continues sculpted freeze that goes like a helix – 155 individuals scenes and 100 figures depicted on it  Visibility is an important question: how visible is what’s going on? And how visible is it to the people trying to understand this scene?  Pair of wars, that Trajan was involved it  It’s not a single continuous precession but a series of distinct episodes hat all repeat the same message  Performing a series of typical imperial actions -> addresses his troops (adlocuteo), does things like victoriously accepting this submission of his en
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