The Social History of Roman Art

The character of Roman art history has changed in recent years. More than ever before, it is concerned with the role of art in ancient society, including the functions that it served and the values and assumptions that it reflects. At the same time, images have become centrally important to the study of ancient history in general. This book offers a new, critical introduction to Roman art against the background of these developments. Focusing on selected examples and themes, it sets the images in context, explains how they have been interpreted, and explodes some of the modern myths that surround them. It also explores some of the problems and contradictions that we face when we try to deal with ancient art in this manner. From wall-paintings to statues, from coins to the gravestones, this is a lucid and often provocative reappraisal of the world of Roman images.

• Approaches Roman art from a broad historical perspective, exploring the relationship between art and society • Offers provocative new insights into Roman art and its study, including the challenges of inter-disciplinary scholarship • Includes forty-five high quality illustrations: famous works are combined with images that have rarely been published before


Introduction; 1. Who made Roman art?; 2. Identity and status; 3. Portraits in society; 4. The power of images; 5. Art of the empire.

Nøkkelord: Kunst Kunsthistorie