Kelsey Museum Augustus Analysis

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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…
The body of PrimaPorta and Doryphoros statues are very much alike, their stance and feet are the same. Also, they both use the contrapposto pose, where both have a relaxed barefoot and leg, paired with a strong leg/barefoot planted on the ground, then they have one rested arm and the other in action. Unlike, the Doryphoros, Augustus is dressed in traditional Roman armor and Hellenistic period baroque style tunic, with deep undercut folds. Nonetheless, one can also see the Etruscan style in the Prima Porta, where the right hand raised in a senator like pose of greeting or addressing the crowd. In the bronze Aule Metele, from Cortona, Italy, early first century BCE, we see this similar pose. One can tell Aule Metele is a Roman senator and is an important figure because of the pose and his toga and boots he is wearing that is very much worn by senators during that time and his serious, older face smaller straight set mouth republican style. Augustus purposely mixed and rejected all of these great styles into his era, to promote his belief in he being the best political and military Roman…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
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