3 Tutorials that teach Roman Portraiture
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Roman Portraiture

Roman Portraiture

Author: Aleisha Olson

Portraiture, Republic to Flavians

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Introduction to Art History

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This lesson discusses the two main types of portraiture in the Roman Empire between the beginning of the Empire and the Flavian Period.


Image of Augustus from Primaporta, Photo by Till Niermann, Creative Commons, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Statue-Augustus.jpg; Image of Portrait Bust of Livia, Creative Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Marble-head-empress-livia.JPG; Image of Bust of Vespasian, Creative Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vespasianus01_pushkin.jpg; Image of Portrait of Flavian Woman, Public Domain, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flavian.jpg; Image of Bust of Hadrian, Public Domain, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bust_Hadrian_Musei_Capitolini_MC817.jpg

  • Portrait

    An image of an individual person

  • Bust

    An image of a person that consists of the head and upper torso.

  • Veristic Style

    A style of ancient Roman portraiture that emphasized a person’s age and physical imperfections as a reference to wisdom and experience.

  • Idealism

    A style of portraiture that reduces a person’s physical imperfections, giving an appearance of youth and athleticism.

  • Individualism

    In art and portraiture, the emphasis placed on a person's unique physical characteristics.

  • Apotheosis

    he elevation of a person to the status of a god, often seen in ancient Rome in portraits of emperors and busts of deceased family members.