Augustus of Prima Porta

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  • Topic: Rome, History of art, Emperor
  • Pages : 3 (1046 words )
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  • Published : April 22, 2008
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Augustus of Prima Porta

In this paper for World Art class, I will be discussing the statue of Augustus of Prima Porta from three similar view points of authors, taken from art history books. Although they have there similar view points they also have there different ones and I will be discussing that as well. That statue was found in April of 1863 in Villa of Livia, near Rome. It was created around the first century dating at about 20 BCE. Today it is located in the Vatican Museum for everyone to observe.

Augustus and the position he stands at portrays him as a general addressing his troops at the same time this statue emphasizes the power of Rome embodied in Augustus as emperor which came out of A History of Western Art 4th Edition by, Laurie Adams. Adams continues to talk about how the statue just by itself represents a self-confident, dominating, and above all youthful figure. She states that the head is idealized and the statue is very similar to Doryphoros of Polykleitos which you can conclude that the artist creating Augustus was very familiar with Greek art. Adams also discusses the other features on the statue such as the little boy at the bottom of Augustus’s right leg. This boy is Cupid, the son of Venus who is riding a dolphin and was put there as a reminder that Augustus traced his lineage to Aeneas, another son of Venus’ and was descended from the gods. Located on his chest is his armor. The armor, according to Adams, is Mother Earth with a cornucopia. She describes this as the emperors identification with the land as a source of plenty and divine favor that has conferred power on Rome, thus giving it dominion over the earth. Also the connection with Augustus and the earth implies Rome’s territorial conquests.

The statue is questioned to be a god or a human being to some people. According to History of Art 4th Edition by H.W. Jansen, it is meant to be portrayed as both a god and a human being. Jansen states that the statue clearly shows...
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