Compare And Contrast Greek And Roman Art

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Roman artwork is extremely intricate and diverse, however, a lot of what is referred to as Roman art can better be described by the cultures it conquered. The ancient Greeks were the most influential of these cultures, from their temples and sculptures, to their reliefs and paintings. Greece was the first culture to create major programs for sculpture, painting, and architecture. Many of the first Roman artists were of Greek descent as their artwork reflects the Classical and Hellenistic periods of ancient Greece. A lot of what is considered to be Roman artwork is criticized as being mere copies of Greek artwork since they modeled their forms and styles after the Greeks, but other cultures influenced the Romans as well, mainly the Etruscans,…show more content…
Both the Greeks and the Romans dedicated their temples to the gods, however, unlike temples today that are used for congregation, Greek and Roman temples were used differently. Greek temples were used as the home of a certain deity and as a place to worship the specific god that was housed there. The Romans used temples to praise a god for military victory or for a politician to show his increase of wealth and status by commissioning the construction of a temple. Roman Temples were also often used as a meeting place for people to express a multitude of social and political concerns whereas the Greek temples were typically used by one person at a time. Within the cella of both the Greek and Roman temples was an altar dedicated to the gods. The Greeks used elements from their temple design in the creation of these altars, and Romans sometimes modeled their sarcophagi after this design. The Sarcophagus of Lucius Cornelius Scipio Barbatus from his tomb on the Via Appia from 200 B.C.E depicts the elements that the Romans borrowed from Greek temples. It is a mixture of two styles of Greek temple, Ionic and Doric. The Ionic style can be seen in the curves on the lid whereas the Doric style is depicted in the squares on the side of the sarcophagus, where each of the vertical lines of the square is a set of columns. This shows not only Greek…show more content…
Even the few sculptor’s names known to us, usually by chance, from the imperial period are Greek names and seem to confirm the assumption that these artists’ work should be regarded simply as a late phase of Greek art” (Hanfmann, 12). The Greeks were the first western culture to figure out how to accurately depict the human form which they did through the use of geometric ratios. It is also widely accepted that it was even Greek artists who first made marble portraits for the Romans as the Romans originally had no skill with the stone. “It was certainly at first Greek artists who were entrusted by eminent Romans with the execution of portraits of themselves and of important personalities in the Roman state, just as it was Greeks who depicted Aemilius Paulus victory at Pydna and later were largely responsible for the portraits of the emperors” (Kahler 16). The Romans mainly used terracotta for their sculptures and it was only when Augustus reigned that the marble quarries at Carrara were opened and marble was used on a large scale. The Romans inherited the use of realistic proportions, the sense of movement (contrapposto), and the overall beauty of Greek sculptures. A great example of Roman sculpture that was clearly carved by a Greek artist who was familiar with the Hellenistic styles of Greece, is the Relief of the Wedding of Amphitrite and Neptune. It “shows a mythological
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