rig. 26. Serapis, 2nd cen, cit, British Museum, London (Photo: Author^
type include the busts of Lucius Venus and Septimitis Severus (compare fig. 21). - Facial features associated with the "senior" gods (especially Jupiter) emphasize the characteristics these emperors valued—sagacity, gravitas, and ruling authority.
In Zanker's view, this shift of portrait type was driven by a "profound transformation" of Roman society and signaled an emerging i(cult of learning." Prior to this time Roman men had been depicted as cleanshaven ,This transition to the bearded type reflected an interest in being portrayed as intellectuals, even in the guise of philosophers or poets, with longer beards and hair. They carried scrolls in their hands or had them in baskets at their feet. One popular figure in Roman art was a reader shown in profile, holding a partially unrolled scroll and wearing the traditional philosopher's garb of the pallium (an outer mantle wrapped somewhat like the larger and more formal toga, and much like jgl vjj|fwé
the Greek himation)t often without the undertunic, thus leaving a partially bare chest (fig. 27). Such a physical presentation suggested indifference to worldly beauty and a preference to cultivate the mind and to develop a disciplined or Spiritual outlook on life." Many such portraits, shown in half or three-quarter profile, appear on second- and third-century sarcophagi, all with the apparent aim of portraying the deceased as a learned and reflective man.
Fig. 27. Ranre Head Sarcophagus, late 3rd cer, C£„ Museo Rio Cristiano Vatican Cry (Photo: Author).
Was this article helpful?