Augustus In Greek Art

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The Kelsey Museum Augustus, First Emperor of Rome, is similar and different to many Roman art pieces. The first very obvious style that can be seen is the Augustan period approach, the Augustus of Primaporta statue from Italy, marble copy, from early first century is a great example of this approach. They both have the same exact straight hair strand placement, face shape, and youthful idealized face. Augustus uses the same style throughout all his statues and reliefs, where his forehead is very wide and longer than his chin area. Unlike the prior Republican period style, the Augustan period rejects the veristic style, which is the very extreme expression of oldness. Instead, he uses Classical Greek art features, where the idealized youthful…show more content…
Starting with the Roman Republican period, the introduction of portraits of important Roman people is used to allow the Romans to express their great lineage and for emperors and senators to reveal their own importance. One of the first portraits seen in this period in particular that relates to the Kelsey Museum Head of man portrait is the marble Head of an Old Man, from Osimo, Italy, mid-first century BCE. This Osimo Old Man head is most likely an important figure in the Republican time because the veristic style of exaggerated old wrinkly, leathery face expressed through many deep set lines and the straight, thin mouth and seriousness of his face to convey wisdom and experience. This hyper realness (verism) is not seen in the Kelsey Head of a man, nonetheless, the man is aged with more realistic wrinkles and has a straight thin line mouth and serious look on this portrait. The portrait of Vespasian, marble, 75-79 CE, also made from marble and from Flavian (his family name) period, favors the Head of a Man much more. During this time the new emperor Vespasian wanted to distance himself from the last couple of Julio-Claudian emperors that were not well liked, who used the idealized face like Augustus (their predecessor). He began to go back to the some of the Republican styles that had been rejected by his predecessors to suggest he would be a great emperor, who not only was a great war winning military man, but also has older deep set wrinkle lines on his forehead and cheeks, retreating hairline, serious straight mouth and attentive hard working eyes and face, to show his seriousness about the Roman empire. Going back to the Julio-Claudian period, there is one feature not seen in the Vespasian, one that relates to Head of a Man, seen in the portraits of Nero. According to the Kelsey Museum info card, his “carefully arranged wavy coiffure” was originated with Nero and the style lasted even
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