Roman Sculpture

Definition

Roman sculpture blended the idealised perfection of Classical Greek sculpture with a greater aspiration for realism. It also absorbed artistic preferences and styles from the East to create images in stone and bronze which rank among the finest works from antiquity. With artists working across a huge empire and ever-changing public tastes over centuries, Roman sculpture is remarkable for its variety.

More about: Roman Sculpture

Timeline

  • c. 10 BCE
    Statue of Augustus as Pontifex Maximus sculpted.
  • 9 BCE
    A massive altar the Ara Pacis is completed by Augustus in Rome.
  • c. 100 CE
    In Roman marble sculpture the pupil and iris of the eye begins to be sculpted rather than merely painted onto the statue.
  • 113 CE
    Trajan's column is constructed in Rome which commemorates the emperor's campaigns in Dacia.
  • c. 130 CE
    The idealised colossal marble statue of Antinous is sculpted and his cult is founded
  • c. 176 CE
    A huge bronze statue of Marcus Aurelius on horseback is erected in Rome.
  • c. 180 CE
    The Column of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina is erected in Rome. It depicts in relief sculpture the emperors' campaigns across the Danube.
  • 190 CE - 192 CE
    The bust of Commodus as Hercules is sculpted.
  • 203 CE
    The Arch of Septimius Severus is built in Rome's Forum Romanum to commemorate victories over the Parthians.
  • c. 315 CE
    Arch of Constantine I built in Rome to commemorate victory over Maxentius in 312 CE.
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