Friday, 25 June 2010
Speak The Culture: A hair of the canis
What entertained me most when I started writing the art and architecture bit for the Italian STC book, was the honesty with which the Roman affluent society wished to be portrayed.
They just didn't have a whisker of vanity about them, it seems.
One brilliant example of this, and thankfully, there are a few, is Roman Husband and Wife It’s an early attempt from the late Republic, under the first Emperor, Augustus, at a naturalistic sculpture.
A depiction of a couple we all know: he, scowling slightly, dying for a drink, looking for another bored looking geezer to talk business with. They've just arrived at a dinner party where the hostess tells them the lamb needs to take a bit longer than planned; his missus trying to ignore him, just about to ask where the togas should go. She knows she’ll have to drive the chariot home and put the horses to bed.
You can see them looking awkward, but beautiful in The Louvre, in Paris.
Poor old Vespasian has the somewhat distracted look of a hung-over accountant at a golf club bar, his bust, which is in Naples, in The Museo Nazionale,