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Roman Architecture and Art 500 BC - 310 AD Originally a small city state, Rome evolved into the greatest empire in world history. By 510 BC the Romans.

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Presentation on theme: "Roman Architecture and Art 500 BC - 310 AD Originally a small city state, Rome evolved into the greatest empire in world history. By 510 BC the Romans."— Presentation transcript:

1 Roman Architecture and Art 500 BC AD Originally a small city state, Rome evolved into the greatest empire in world history. By 510 BC the Romans had broken away from Estrucan domination of central Italy; in the third century BC, the Romans conquered Carthage and embarked upon world conquest.

2 Porta Augusta 2 BC Rome Estrucans ruled central Italy before the Romans. Little of Estrucan culture remains; a fortified city gate in Perugia survives. It shows a masterful use of the arch and masonry techniques. An arch is a semi-circular architectural construction built of wedge- shaped blocks. It spans an opening, and is usually supported by a column. Because Estrucan towns are buried under present-day cities, they are difficult to excavate.

3 The Colosseum AD Rome The grandest of all Roman structures is the Colosseum. It held 50,000 spectators for events such as battles between animals and gladiators. The arch and vault were essential parts of this architecture. The arch is a curved element used to span an opening. A vault is an arched roof or covering made of rock, stone or concrete. The outer wall is 16 stories tall.

4 The Colosseum AD Rome A wall went completely around the structure and supported poles from which a huge awning could be stretched to protect spectators from weather men were required to raise or lower this awning, called a velarium. The floor area could also be flooded and used as a shallow lake to stage mock naval battles. Later generations of Romans plundered the Colosseum’s marble for use in newer buildings.

5 The Pantheon AD Rome Romans made great advances in architecture, constructing numerous buildings such as arenas, public baths and forums with vast interior spaces. The Pantheon, built to honor all the gods, has a huge dome (an exact hemisphere on the inside) which creates an overwhelming interior space.

6 The Pantheon AD Rome A huge dome (an exact hemisphere on the inside) rests on a mammoth drum. The floor is 144 feet in diameter; the top of the dome is 144 above the floor. The concrete dome is thin on top and thickens as it meets the walls. The dome is coffered—decorated with a series of recessed rectangular panels. The walls are over 20 feet thick, strong enough to support the heavy dome.

7 The Pantheon AD Rome The only source of light is a single round, eye- like opening at the top of the dome called an occulus, which is 30 feet in diameter. Rain is carried away by an underground drainage system.

8 The Baths of Caracalla 215 AD Rome The Romans built gigantic structures to house their public baths. The complex contained several pools of various temperatures, libraries, offices, meeting rooms and recreation areas.

9 The Baths of Caracalla 215 AD Rome Romans built gigantic structures to house their public baths. They contained several pools of various temperatures. The interior was roofed with vaults that spanned enormous spaces.

10 The Theater of Herodes Atticus 2 AD Athens Romans altered Greek theater design; rather than 2/3 circle, the seating was changed to a semicircle, allowing for a larger stage area than before. Theaters were often freestanding rather than being built into a hillside. This theater at the side of the Acropolis is still in use.

11 The Theater of Herodes Atticus 2 AD Athens

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13 The Arch of Constantine 312 AD Rome Several emperors built large triumphal arches to celebrate their own rise to power

14 Ruins of the Roman Forum Romans built public spaces, called forums, as sites for various gatherings and discussions.

15 Artist’s Rendering of the Roman Forum Romans built gathering spaces, called forums, as places for all sorts of public discussions.

16 Roman Basilica Romans built rectangular civic buildings—referred to as a basilica—in which the ground floor plan was divided into nave, side aisles and apse. This became the basic design for later Christian churches.

17 Roman Basilica We see in this basilica floor plan that the ground floor was divided into nave, side aisles and apse. This later became the basis for Christian church building design.

18 Roman Basilica The Roman basilica was a rectangular civic building which featured a simple, unadorned façade.

19 Roman Sculpture Romans borrowed from Greek sculpture, but also created original portraits to honor their leaders. These portraits helped preserve the individual features of the emperors and emphasized their greatness. The Head of Augustus (14 AD, 19” high) was part of a large full-length figure. It is cast in bronze, with eyes of glass paste. It depicts an individual, not an idealization. Such a likeness allowed Roman subjects throughout the vast empire to know what their rulers looked like in an era long before cameras.

20 Roman Sculpture The Portrait of a Lady Carved in marble 69 AD, 26” tall This was probably a commission portrait, used to decorate the woman’s home.

21 The Column of Trajan 113 AD, Rome This marble cylinder is over 130 feet tall, topped by a statue of St. Peter. The story of the emperor Trajan’s military campaign is carved into the stone.

22 Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius AD Bronze Rome This dramatic, heroic posed, larger-than-life sculpture had a tremendous influence on later artists — especially during the Renaissance period. The anatomy of the horse is very realistic, although when compared to the large figure of the rider it seems small in scale.

23 Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius AD Bronze Rome The bearded emperor looks out on the world, his right arm in a typical Roman oratorical gesture. The figures are well- balanced, with all the weight of the cast bronze evenly distributed over the horse’s three supporting legs.

24 Constantine the Great 330 AD, Marble 8’ high, Rome This was originally part of an enormous full-figure sculpture, now lost. The eyes seem overly large, a characteristic of early Christian art. The eyes were carved so that cast shadows, not paint, defined the iris and pupils.

25 Roman Painting Woman Playing a Cithera 79 AD, Fresco, 6.5’ tall Fresco is a method of painting images into the wet plaster of a wall; the image becomes part of the wall instead of sitting on top of its outer “skin.” Such portraits were used for private home decoration. The artist created an illusion of depth by the use of overlapping forms. The poses are more relaxed compared to the heroic poses of emperors.

26 Roman Mosaics Doves, 2 AD 33.5” tall Romans excelled in mosaics, made of small bits of marble which were cut, polished and fitted together to make an image. They were often used to decorate walls and floors of homes and buildings. Tile mosaics decorate our own NYC subway stations.

27 Roman Mosaics Young Women Exercising, 4 AD, Roman villa Here we see contemporary women of the time involved in ordinary daily activities; not all Roman art depicted heroes and leaders.

28 Pompeii On August 24, AD 79, the volcanic Mt. Vesuvius erupted. The nearby city of Pompeii was covered in molten lava, ash and pumice. 20,000 citizens escaped, but at least 2,000 people stayed behind and were trapped in the burning debris.

29 Pompeii Archaeologists excavated Pompeii in the 1860s. They discovered that everything had been preserved intact since AD 79, frozen under volcanic debris. Shops, businesses, people — even the food left standing when the volcano erupted — provided an accurate picture of life in this time period.

30 Pompeii Human corpses had disintegrated, but the mud shells which had hardened around these figures were used as molds for plaster casts to reconstruct the victims in the poses of their moment of death.

31 Pompeii Scientists uncovered the buried city and documented their findings.

32 Pompeii


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