Exam notes - Roman Architecture

11 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto St. George
Dr.Christina Katsougiannopoulou

FAH207 – Architecture *proper identification, location, date (within a century), style/function, cultural importance General Architecture Amphitheatrum Flavium (Colosseum), Rome (72-80 AD) • place for animal hunts, gladiatorial combats, public executions ◦ entertainment to keep them off the streets to decrease their frustrations in life ◦ where Roman emperor showed how much he cared for the people of Rome through celebration of games • construction begun by emperor Vespasian in 72 AD and inaugurated under his son Titus in 80 AD ◦ Vespasian was the anti-Nero, a practical man, not pretentious ▪ built Colosseum to transform Nero's private lake into place for public use • funded by sale of treasures from Jewish temple from sacking of Jerusalem • had a hypogeum substructure of tunnels that allowed gladiators and wild animals to be brought up from trapdoors on the floor • strict seating order according to social class and rank ◦ highest ranks (e.g., senators) were seated closest to the arena • concrete core of the Colosseum was reveted with white travertine • building’s façade modelled on traditional ornamental scheme already used in theaters of the Augustian period ◦ ground storey façade = Tuscan ◦ second storey façade = Ionic ◦ third storey façade = Corinthian ◦ fourth storey (attic) = decorated with Corinthian pilasters Pantheon in Field of Mars, Rome (128 AD) • rebuilt by Hadrian, most sage and successful Roman emperors, after it was burnt down • no one knows the architect, but probably Hadrian himself or Apollodorus • combines traditional elements (porch is in Corinthian order) and also modern elements • flanked by porticos, so enclosed from outside ◦ 16 columns of granite in portico • circular rotunda within dome without columnar support ◦ similar architectural predecessor also found in Nero's palace ◦ oculus circular opening on ceiling lets in natural lighting, makes dome lighter ◦ dome has indentations that serve as decorations but also make the dome lighter • preserved because repurposed into church ‘Historical’ reliefs • standard depictions of public ceremonies involving the emperor on public monuments (i.e. triumphal arches, statue, column bases, round surfaces of columns) • usually do not record a particular historical event --> instead, commemorative function through the depiction of imperial rituals (i.e. triumphal procession, emperor setting off for military campaign or distributing gifts) ◦ for propagation of emperor’s deeds, victories and virtues • one of the most characteristic genres of Roman art Altar of Domitius Ahenobarbus (100 BC) • not really an altar, but a large statue base consisted of two elements: 1. frieze brought to Rome as war booty --> Hellenistic Greek, mythological process of sea creatures at wedding of Poseidon and Amphitrite • made earlier than 2 frieze 2. frieze made in Rome --> shows Roman military ‘census’ procession making sacrifice to Mars who, wearing cuirass and helmet, is standing beside the humans but is invisible to them • ox, pig, sheep = traditional sacrifice to Mars, • mingling of gods and mortals common in Roman art • poor mastery of perspective and other artistic uncertainties reflect emergent Roman art • oldest known relief in which the political and religious reality of Rome is depicted with many details Ara Pacis Augustae, Rome (13-9 BC) • used for sacrificing animals dedicated to peace in Rome in the Augustan period • square platform surrounded by marble • exterior relief decorations unifies the ideals brought on by Augustus's rule: peace, prosperity, traditional social values exemplified through presence of women and children (signifying fertility), Senate (most powerful political factor in roman state life) • along the side are the procession of imperial family and senators • east façade: Tellus relief ◦ lavish floral decor with birds and fruits, garlands imitating real decoration of altars ◦ mythical realm with classcisized sculpture (Greek models of 5 c BC) ▪ central figure is young mother sitting in classical position and holding 2 babies ▪ soothing nature, fertility, fruit, babies, serene scenes ▪ such scenes are seen in Ovid's and Virgil's writings ▪ reflects intellectual spirit of the times, suggested the peace and prosperity Augustus brought to Rome • west façade: relief of Aeneas performing sacrifice ◦ foundation myth ◦ Aeneas depicted as mature Greek god ◦ allusion to Venus bc he was son of Venus ◦ also shows classicisizing trend Arch of Titus, (81 AD) • posthumous monument located on the Via Sacra road along route of triumphal procession from valley of the Colosseum to Forum Romanum • custom of erecting triumphal arches for victorious generals goes back to Republican times. • vault ceiling has ornate floral copper decorations with central scene shows consecratio/apotheosis = deification of Titus as he is being carried off by an eagle. • inscription notes arch was built by the Senate and people of Rome for the deified emperor Titus ◦ indicates arch was erected after Titus’ death in AD 81 but reliefs refer to Titus’ victories in the “Jewish war” ten years earlier. • Reliefs are in flavian baroque style ◦ skilled use of light and shade, drill allowed depiction of 3D space, typical use in flavian period ◦ One relief depicts spoils of war, including the menorah from Jewish temple in Jerusalem, carried through Rome in the triumphal procession. ▪ sculpture good at conveying depth; seems like the procession is making a turn because the center is protruding and sculptures to the side are flatter • Another relief shows the triumphant Titus in a quadriga with personification of victory (with wings) holding a wreath (symbol of victory) over his head. The quadriga is led by a personification of the emperor’s military virtue (“Virtus”) ◦ mingling of mortals and nonmortals was probably so the viewer could better understand the powers of the emperor (typical Roman ideology) Column of Trajan, (113 AD) ◦ 38 m, made of Parian marble located b/w the 2 libraries in Forum of Trajan ◦ dedicated to Trajan by the Senate and the People of Rome to 1. commemorate Trajan's achievements 2. show the height of the hill that was cut away to make way for the structure (demonstrate the feat of Roman engineering) ◦ column has an internal staircase. ◦ pedestal of the column contained ashes of Trajan (and his wife Plotina) ▪ depicts enemy weapons and trophies ◦ spiral reliefs are very detailed and classisized in a harmonious style ▪ depicts Trajan's 2 military campaigns against the Dacians ▪ spiral width widens going up to allow visibility ◦ some scenes are repeated often, such as the emperor (all in same axis and presented bigger than the other figures) ◦ standard scenes show start of campaign and Trajan leading his troops ▪ battle scenes are rare, more civilized activities (i.e. building camps, crossing rivers) ◦ figure of Victory marks end of the 1 campaign ◦ common in Roman art to personify rivers (i.e. Danube is personified helping Trajan's men) ◦ suicide of the Dacian king Decebalus (left), presentation of heads of Dacian leaders to Trajan (right). ▪ suicide was an honourable death and depicted often in art, but always of the enemy • Column of Marcus Aurelius, Rome (176-193 AD) ◦ modelled on Column of Trajan ◦ reliefs celebrate the victories of emperor Marcus Aurelius in military campaigns against ‘Barbarians’ (Marcomanni, Sarmatians) in Danube area. ◦ unclear if built under Marcus Aurelius or by successor Commodus (after Marcus Aurelius's death in 180 AD) ◦ statue of St. Paul added on top of the column in 16 c. ◦ column has an internal staircase. ◦ relief is much deeper than Trajan's so better visibility, but not as much detail and lower number of standard scenes ◦ more scenes of violence than Trajan's, shows different conception of war and victory between the beginning and the end of the second century ▪ elaborate depiction of destruction and depopulation of villages by Roman soldier are reoccur, combined with abduction and maltreatment of civilian ▪ decapitation of german prisoners ▪ debate of whether it's meant to show cruelty of war or exemplify Rome’s absolute supremacy ◦ more tendency to show frontal figures (not like 3/4 view of Trajan), trend continued in 3 c AD ◦ has spiritual elements (i.e. scene alluding to miracle of the rain), whereas Trajan's didn't show any supernatural interventions ▪ shows change in mentality of that period Imperial Fora and Temples • forum Romanum = civic center of Rome, initially a marsh and where early Romans buried their dead Roman temple building – main characteristics • front of Roman temples facing the precinct of the god played role in religious ritual (vs. Greek temples has peripheral colonnades and were designed to be seen from all sides) • temple stood on high podium with stairs only at the front • portico and pronaos lined by colonnades is defining characteristic of Roman temples • late 3 c BC Romans adopted Greek architectural orders (Doric, Ionic, Corinthian) ◦ Corinthian = much more decorated capital, because staple for Roman architecture in Imperial period • Romans used concrete (cheap and malleable) arches and vaults whereas Greek didn't (relied more on stone masonry) Forum of Augustus and Temple of Mars Ultor (‘Mars the Avenger’), (2 BC) • second imperial forum built in Rome after and perpendicular to Caesar's Forum Iulium) • principle design is symmetry ◦ rectangular court with monumental temple at the end of the long axis ◦ exedrae = large semicircular structures behind the colonnades ▪ showcase statues of the summi viri = the men who had made Rome great ▪ statue groups of Aeneas and Romulus in central niches of the semicircular exedrae ▪ functioned as memorial gallery/museum • not for commercial purposes, but for administration, diplomacy, state rituals • had high firewall to protect the Forum from fires in the densely inhabited ‘subura’ behind it • Temple of Mars Ultor ◦ commemorates Augustus avenging Julius Caesar ◦ typical Roman design with high podium and incorporation of an altar in Corinthian style ▪ altar was integrated in the frontal stairs, along with cult statue of Mars (possibly also of Venus and the deified Caesar) ◦ made with expensive Italian marble ◦ deep porch and real colonnade only on 3 sides ◦ the temple, porticoes and portico columns were paved with coloured marbles ◦ frieze had classical elements --> medallions depicting Zeus, upper part of Attica was supported by Korai (borrowed from the Erectheion in Athens) ◦ cella had statues of Mars and Julius Caesar Forum of Trajan, Rome (100-112 AD) • took elements from Augustus's Forum, but twice its size • equestrian statue in middle of Forum • semicircular spaces were dedicated purely to commercial use; rest of forum had administrative functions ◦ commercial complex in semicircular area much better preserved than rest of building, esp the Great hall (markets of Trajan) bc it was concrete
More Less

Related notes for FAH207H1

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.