Essay on Romanesque Art
Romanesque art was influenced by shifting political powers and the mobility during the crusades. Citizens of the Republican Period of Rome valued the accomplishments of old age in that art was a reminder of history and a tool for education on oral narratives, heroes, and conquests. Also, the citizens used art to venerate their ancestors. The Romanesque art portrayed the Roman worldliness, their boundless interest in expansion, (Sachant, p. 110) their great ingenuity and inventiveness in areas such as engineering and architecture, and their stress on individualism. Furthermore, the Head of a Roman Patrician from Otricoli, c. 75-50 BCE uses the verism style that exaggerates the naturally occurring features of the subject. In the sculpture, the man has sagging jowls showing the subject as extremely aged and careworn.
The depiction of advanced age is a way of showing respect and honoring the elders. The tradition of ancestral imagines and the cultural respect for family, and tradition influenced the veristic stylistic approach. The standing figure is noble because he wears a toga, which identifies him as a citizen of the state. On the other hand, the footwear – calceii patricii – was exclusive to the patrician symbolizing their hierarchy in the social class. The Roman Republic veristic portraiture was the tool used by rich aristocrats and male members of the patrician class to show their importance in the Republic. The veristic style accurately depicts the patrician and shows the admiration of the age of the elderly. The symbolic implication is the virtues in the Roman Republic such as wisdom, determination, strength, experience, and valor.
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