Art History Ara Pacis Augustae

Topics: Roman Empire, Ancient Rome, Augustus Pages: 2 (663 words) Published: December 9, 2012
During the Early to High Empire period, the Roman Empire was at the peak of wealth, power and status. In light of maintaining this reputation, emperors and artists used art and architecture to display their times of achievement and hierarchy. Two constant themes that I saw within Roman art is both imperial and social propaganda. Commissioned by the Roman Senate to celebrate the peace established in the empire after Augustus’ victories, Ara Pacis Augustae (Altar of Peace), was a great illustration of power and peace in Rome. The walls of the altar flooded with sculptural reliefs on the upper and lower registers. Inside was an altar made for animal sacrifices and was decorated with a cow skull above the altar with floral designs, and was meant to envision Roman civil religion. One important piece of the sculptural relief is the Imperial Procession which was the detail of the South frieze. Augustus is depicted wearing a toga, covering his head. It is suggested that he also slightly taller than the rest of the figures to imply hierarchal scale. Tellus, displayed on the east side of the Ara Pacis displays a personification of a female, earth-type goddess with twins. It was sought to portray the peace and fertile prosperity enjoyed as a result of the Pax Augusta brought by Roman Empire. Triumphal arches are one of the most influential and distinctive types of architecture associated with ancient Rome and are used to commemorate victorious generals or significant public events. The Arch of Titus was a free standing gateway and had a passage covered by a barrel vault. It was originally topped with a 4 horse chariot and driver. One of the most commemorative illustrations within this arch is the sculptural relief, Spoils from the Temple of Solomon which told the story of Titus returning from Judea and carrying a Menorah from the temple of Solomon. The arch itself shows the emperors ascension as a divine figure. The Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius...
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