Friday, November 19, 2010

Portrait Head from Osimo

This piece of sculpture not only shows the conveyance of the human form through artistic mediums, but also speaks explicitly to the culture from which it came. A piece of Roman work done in marble, it is simply the head of an elderly man of high societal importance. According to the Romans, it was not necessary to sculpt the entire body of a person to convey a portrait. However, the Greeks would have differed with this idea, always sculpting the head as attached to the body. The Roman artist took careful note to include every detail, including wrinkles and other signs of aging. No longer did sculptures only strive to convey perpetual youth and vitality even if it differed from their real subject matter. This portrait head is a testament to this changing philosophy.

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