Greek and Roman Art

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From ancient, Greeks dominated the world of classical art. They influenced other artists outside Greece especially the Romans (Mattusch, 1996). Though Romans also had practiced art for long and were not wholly imitators, they were the vastly influenced by the Greeks especially around 146BC and since then, the two became intertwined (bearing some similarities) but at the same time maintaining their originality (bearing some differences). This is the period documented as the time when Rome conjured Greece (Mattusch, 1946).

Analysis of Greek and Roman views on “Art, Gender and Sexuality” explain the similarities and differences witnessed in their art masterpieces like Apollo Sauroktonos (Lizard-slayer) and Roman Marcus Aurelius statues. Romans copied most of the Greek’s ideas in art. This explain the similarities between Greek and Roman arts (Bispham, Harrison, Sparkes, 2006).

Both Greek’s Apollo Sauroktonos and Marcus Aurelius statues are standing on a plat form. This similarity sows that both Greek and Roman artists took time and consideration of where they would mount their completed masterpieces for purposes of support and identification of these great works by writing some notes about the statue on the sides of its stand (Vassilika, 1998).

Greek’s Apollo Sauroktonos (Lizard-slayer), about 350-275 BC” statue portrays a naked person while Roman’s The Emperor as Philosopher, probably Marcus Aurelius (reigned 161-180 AD), about 180-200 statue portrays a person wearing clothes. While sporting, Greeks used not to wear clothes and hence the sculptors could observe their body features well and Cleary. By so doing, these sculptors were able to produce masterpieces of art that resembled those sportsmen. The main purpose of doing this was to convey the manly beauty of their athletic bodies and also the strength that these bodies portrayed (Vassilika, 1998). The other reason is that Greeks regarded the exposure of their sculptures in nude as a way of portraying the glory of the male body. The Greeks came up with sexually overt masterpieces. Greeks also make these sculptures mainly to represent their gods who they considered being like human beings. Following their beliefs that show of bodily features as show of glory and immense love for beauty, they had to represent their gods in nude. On the other hand, Romans took pride in making sculptures in more realistic way/the way they appeared and not on imagination. This is one of the explanations that the Marcus Aurelius statute shows a person was wearing clothes (Vassilika, 1998). In Greece, homosexuality was common though not publicly portrayed unlike in Roman Empire where homosexuality received a lot of condemnation, and this called for decency due to their strong Christian faith (Golden & Toohey, 2003).

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Greek’s Apollo Sauroktonos statue is right colored/whitish while Roman’s Marcus Aurelius statue is darker. Romans were painters and people who highly valued colours in their art works. They could have painted this statue with dark color after its manufacture. Right color in the Greek statue depicts presence of marble/stone as one of the constituent raw materials in Apollo Sauroktonos statue. In some cases, Greeks also painted their statues, but with time, they could lose their color through weathering hence becoming bright. Bronze tends to be shiny by dark than marble and can also be painted dark. This might be the reason that made them paint this statue in dark (Beard & Henderson, 2001).

Greek’s Apollo Sauroktonos statue has the head available while the Roman’s Marcus Aurelius statue has its head missing. Therefore, the later lacks such organs like eye, lips among others. Apollo Sauroktonos statue has copper nipples and lip while one of its eyes is stone (Beard & Henderson, 2001).

Greek’s Apollo Sauroktonos statue lacks both hands which might have broken off earlier. These hands were off the body (lacked contact with the other body). This explains the possibility of the two arms break off. Greek art has gone through extensive transformation over many years both in the materials used and the quality of the art. Romans just took the advancement from a certain point to the next level. However, they were as careful as possible on maintaining its natural nature. Lack of these body parts can also be attributed to the many years that Greeks have been in art till their works became old enough to start crumbling (Bispham, Harrison, Sparkes, 2006).

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Apollo Sauroktonos statue is more leaning than Marcus Aurelius statue. The slanting posture of Apollo Sauroktonos explains that these might be a possibility that the initial statue stood against something. It seems that whoever the one who the statue represent posed against an object or a wall while the process continues while in case of Marcus Sauroktonos he stood (Golden & Toohey, 2003).

It is true that Greece dominated the world of classical art across the world. As an honor to their gods, they modeled statues of their gods with considerable pride and a lot of idealism that would portray magnificent beauty and glory of their sculptured gods.

However, this did not go for long until imitators started imitating their works. Though Romans were keen imitators of the Greeks, they are also said to have maintained some of their originality. Maintaining originality means that any two works of Greek and Roman has some unique aspects not fond in the Greek works. It is the adopted ideas that bring about similarities among those Greek and Roman Masterpieces. However, Romans and Greeks have their own views on art, Gender and sexuality and these highly influence their art. The analysis of Greek and Roman’s view on “art, Gender and Sexuality” explain the similarities and differences witnessed in their art masterpieces like Greek’s “Apollo Sauroktonos (Lizard-slayer), about 350-275 BC” statue and Roman’s “The Emperor as Philosopher, probably Marcus Aurelius (reigned 161-180 AD), about 180-200” statue.

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