Etruscan Art and Roman Art
Chapter 6 Art History 2nd Edition Marilyn Stokstad
Your primary objective for this chapter is to reach a level of comfort in the discussion of that wide-ranging and diverse entity, the Roman Empire. The reach of the Empire will define much of the territory of art to be studied in future chapters. The Roman attitude toward Classicism, somewhat loose and adaptive, is an attitude that will crop up again and again in Western art's various renascences and Renaissances. Rome begins as a great inheritor and leaves a legacy that will be mined for centuries afterwards. Your book does an excellent job of giving Etruscan art its due. This intriguing and admirable civilization with intrinsic interest is not merely a prelude to Rome. The book also establishes the realms in which Etruscan tradition influenced Roman art. Goals for this chapter include:
- Learn the major divisions of Roman history and the political institutions that informed the divisions.
- Gain an appreciation for Rome not only as an art producing civilization, but as a supreme engineering epoch as well.
- Understand the basic technical features of Roman architecture, including concrete, the arch, and the vault.
- Appreciate the Roman adoption of Greek gods and goddesses and understand the unique features of Roman religion, including deification of emperors and Roman piety toward ancestors.
- Recognize that in the Roman world several styles of art can, and did, coexist.
- Pay attention to the late Roman division of the Empire into a western and eastern portion.
- Grasp the essential qualities of art in the fourth century, especially the abandonment of the Classical tradition, and appreciate the fact that the retreat from Classicism was a choice, not a loss of technique.
Etruscan Theme: "Life in Death."
Because Etruscan tombs provide much of what we know about the Etruscans, the theme focuses on the funerary nature of Etruscan artifacts as well as on the vitality or liveliness inherent in many Etruscan figural works of art.
Rome Theme: "MERIT."
MERIT is an acronym for Monuments, Engineering, Realism, Interior Space, and Temples—all of which play a part in Roman contributions to the West. MERIT is also a term connected to the idea of virtue and praise, which allows us to discuss the Roman use of sculpture and architecture for propagandistic purposes.
Sculpture in the round