Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Portrait of Constantine

The portrait head of Constantine was a distinct departure from coin portraits of his time and other statue portraits of preceding rulers. Instead of sporting a beard and a blocky structure to his face and physique, this display of Constantine shows a more youthful and calm face, one trustworthy in decision-making and level-headed. Many people draw similarities between Constantine's appearance in this example of sculpture and those pieces of Augustus and Trajan. His gaze is steady, looking ahead, and slightly upward, possibly indicating his recognition of heaven, his divine right, and the importance of Christian principle in his planning. By isolating just the head, this piece was able to be copied accurately and circulated around his empire, giving his subjects the opportunity to recognize his appearance and revere their champion. 

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