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Imperial Roman Sculpture

Imperial Roman Sculpture
07 October 2017 Comments are off

There are many examples of Greek inspired Roman sculptures from the 1st and 2nd centuries AD scattered around the world’s great museums and all are worth serious contemplation.

However for this writer Roman sculpture comes into its own when the studios of the empire focused on portraying real and imagined “battle scenes” glorifying the might of the Roman Empire and many of its greatest leaders.

Such a piece can be found in Palazzo Altemps in Rome, and what a stunning piece it is. Called the Grand Ludovisi this magnificent 2nd century AD sarcophagus portrays in a unique Roman sculptural style the heat of battle. The detail is so realistic we are given front row seats to what it was really like to go to war for Rome; on this occasion fighting barbarians. We can clearly see a ruthless interrogation taking place with a bound Dacian captive being tormented by a Roman centurion.

This battle sarcophagus which was either created to take the body of Hostilian, son of Emperor Decius, who died in 252 AD or his brother, Herennius Etruscus, who died fighting the goths in 251 AD. This masterpiece of Roman sculpture will be the focus of greater study by Perfect Traveller.

Peter Kilby
About the Author

Peter Kilby is an artist, writer, story-teller, journalist and avid traveller who has lived and worked in Italy since 1987. He created Perfect Traveller to bring the world of art and history closer to you. Download the “free” Perfect Traveller app and enjoy the best audio tours available; about Italy today and yesterday. Sign Up to this website and submit your travel stories and become part of the Perfect Traveller community.

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