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Lecture #6 (Oct. 16) - Visual Culture: Art and Architecture

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Rob Mc Cutcheon

Lecture 6Visual Culture Art and Architecture General Points about Roman Architecture and ArtThese need to be understood within the society that produced it thus we find that the same social structures power balances and cultural anxieties as we do in the rest of society o We need to recognize the purpose of the art within a particular societyThe textbook argues that there is no such thing as Roman art it is simply an imitation of other cultures o This is largely considered an antiquated POVRoman art in particular was not just a simple imitation of Greek and Etruscan traditionsRomans borrowed heavily from both cultures but developed their own distinctive style to suit their cultural needs o Arguably every culture borrowed from the ones that came before itFor certain time periods nothing exists in its original form but does in Roman copies o Often assumed that these copies are inferior to the originalsRoman art is often depicted as more masculinesoldiers etc o Greek art is more feminine featuring artisansFamous statue of Laocon and his sons o Mythhe said that the Trojan Horse was a trap snakes were sent by the gods to kill him o This represents the height of artistic talent and is the best surviving piece from its timeFacial expression beardhair and incredibly detailed feet o Similar versioncopy was said to have been in Titus house o This was Roman art done by a Greek sculptor but commissioned by a RomanMay not have been originally Greek o If this was sculpted by a Greek and modeled after a Greek myth is it no longer Roman artWho does art really belong to PompeiiA moderate sized city to the south of Romenear modern NaplesIn 79CE the entire town was buried under approximately 15 feet of ash and pumice after the eruption of nearby Mt VesuviusIt is from modern archaeological excavations of this site that much of our knowledge concerning Roman domestic life and architecture and our knowledge concerning Roman art derivesOver a third of the site has yet to be excavated while the rest is slowly and not so slowly disintegrating due to a lack of funds for upkeep
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