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ual character, ût even bibliophiles (like himself) preserved and edited i he ■ ^rki u( ulhc rs—creat i i ig I i b ra r i l"s t ; ■■ h< 1r. se { he t lv : t1 ç ht s and writings of great ^hi iters, rather than ni^-i lL^ showcasing theii imaginar j and ephemeral exterior likenesses.J

By PLin>" criteria, Plutarch (ca. FO 120 c.f X the writer ur" biographies, was a ttlie portrait painter. As Plutarch himself explains. genuine biogr iphers care less about the great deeds of their subjects than they do -i I "■-.>-11 (he contení of I heir character or the state of their soul, However he too believed that a gifted visual artist should be less concerned with external appearancc and more with conve> ing the Intangible aspects of the pcrsonalit y, pe r !i L:, ps : h ro ugh L Ii e exp ress ion of t he I ace a nd tt le c. > e s. In describid]; Iiis liles wíjrk, wri|in¡j the lives of famous men, Plutarch asserts that m individual's great deeds or acts aie far less revealing of charactei than the subtler ways that a pe rs<>n1s nar ure rnay be deli neatedr

: ■-i J< ■!* ■ ■ - - ■ h^lrjrLi^ l::.il I i::i writing., I>ij1 l.i^s; iipj m l"r ■",,■■- ! I ■ i■ ■- ■■ : -deeds there is nuL always a manifestation ni v irtuc Dr vicc, nay a slight i ".. : : l. liK ¡i jnhrilíe vf jíüt vften makes a grenl-Ei revelation of charatlcr than I>a1 -i.t-f. wht-re lhi>g.4anjs fill, [hi ¡¡rented unimilieiHi, ur iie^s «T cities. According just as painu-i - gc1 the llktncsaei in Ihei r pon rail i from thi i ait and ihe cxprcssLo::'. ■ I the cyts-therein thi chjiartci shnws itself, hue m^kt VCfV tilt ,i. ■. ■. ii.i il I L>r' :ln- ill Ii if pan* hi1' li hLKlVn un 1 "mil lit i ■ = I -."■ I tt»

ijf vi.hL-c mhiclf ty : he signs uf the hjuL in and by mcanL lhcM to por-[jjy i ht- ILíl .-I t\lc ti, leaving m <nh<rs .¡.-.l riplkin yf i'-m greiU cunlesls."

Plutarch's protest only highlight-, one of the main functions of visual commemorative portraits however. Visual images. like rhetorical or documentary portraits, were intended to honor ,t. individual because ol his or her deeds or actions. Although countless portraits of novn nameless individuals have been found whose accomplishment ^^■L■ can-nol know, nevertheless, having been the subject of a portrait suggests :ithievemenliven perhaps fame. At least it warded off oblivion and fostered some posthumous respect, \aturally, portraits ihal merited priiTTiineni .imL public loi ations within the city, or ih.ii were of the highest qualiti work, signaled the political siatuss weal ill, success, or nn: vanity of the model then a^ well as now.

Idealisation versuî Realism in Roman Portraiture

When Pliny remonstrated about the lost values of earlier generationsn he i : 11 v. I ! j vé 11 ad i : i mind the li fçl ike Roman portraits made "ruin living models (neither posthumous images nor death masks) that were popular during the Republican era, particularly around the rnid-firsi Century b.í .b, \n historians have found that this period provided some of the best examples ofrealislit " port rails, manj of them copied in early

Fig, I ¿.Augustus iron Prirnapc-rü, 14-29 C.E, Vat can Museum, Rome (Photo; Author)

Porphyry Tetrarch Vatican
Fig, | .S. &ust of I utcios Gedlius locundus, Pt>mpeiian bankei; I St CW- C.E frofll Pgmpdi. Museo Nazionale di Capodinnonte, Naples (Photcn Ahnari/Art Renounce, NY),

Fig, I ¿.Augustus iron Prirnapc-rü, 14-29 C.E, Vat can Museum, Rome (Photo; Author)

imperial times. Although this era was known for its emphasis on realism, there was also a continued tradition of idealized heroic representations based or earlier Hellenistic models. Scholars have noted that late Republican-era realistic portraits focused more on the expression of individual personality through, certain unique facial features, depicting their subjects "warts and all." Possibly based on the practice of making death masks for funerary purposes (see discussion below), this shift also seemed to capture the Republican values of practica I ity, frankness, and misen timen ta lily. One particularly vivid example of this, now in the National Museum of Naples but originally from Pompeii, is the bust of the Augustan-era banker and businessman Lucius Cecilius locundus (fig. 15).5 The literalism of this portrayal, with its wart and protruding ears, suggests that the aim was to create a particularly detailed and recognizable (and not noticeably beautified) likeness of its model.

During the early imperial era, the classical heroic or idealized portrayal became mure popular, although somewhat influenced by the earlier tendency toward realism.6 The tendency to vacillate between the classicist or idealizing mode and the realistic one sometimes produced odd combinations of realistically executed heads 011 heroically posed bodies (see fig. 18). Good examples of idealized portraits are the representations of Augustus, who is usually shown as a youthful and heroic figure (fig, 16). The next generations of the fulio-Claudian family generally kept up the idealizing tradition, especially in posthumous portraits of the deified ruler, although occasional reappearances of older Roman realism sometimes reappear in certain instances, such as the almost comical portrait of Claudius in the guise of Jupiter, now in Lhe Vatican Museum (fig. 17). At the end of the first century, the portraits of Vespasian (69-79 c.E,) are also quite realistic, perhaps meant to associate this middle-class emperor with old Republican values. Gut even Vespasian could be represented as having a realistic visage on an idealized body (fig. 18), Although we

Fig 17 (left). Claudius as Jupiter ca. 50 Ct,'Vatican Museum* Rome (Photo; Author)

Fi^ 18 (righrt). Vespasian, nrd I st cen, C.E., from the ShiHne of i he Augustus, ^lissnurn, Castdlo di (Photo: Author).

Tig. 19 (below). Portrait of a woman, Impeiial Roman Pfer od.Traj anic or V iadna r ic, 100-125 CJE Place of manufacture: Gn±eoe (possibly). Museurv of" Fine Arts, Boston {Photograph ©2004 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

cannot make clear judgments about exact likeness, the works suggest an apparent effort on the part of artisans to achieve realism while still nattering their subjects and showing them at their best. The women of the Flavian court, Jor example, affected elaborate hairstyles on their official portraits and sometimes had themselves appear with the figure and posture cif Venus. At the same time, women of this and the next dynasty were also shown as aging, with wrinkled foreheads, bags under their eyes, and sagging cheeks (fig. 19)/

Art historians note a pronounced return to ideal types during the era of Emperor Hadrian, when certain facial features clearly were intended to suggest aspects of the model's character or virtues. Hadrian, however, was the first emperor to show himself with a full beard, in the style of the Greek phi losophers, a trend that caught on for male portraiture, since it seemed to emphasize the gravitas of the model. Hadji an s lover An tin cms, on the other hand, was shown in the form of a young Greek god, with a beardless face, curling hair, and a sensuous, even feminine body type. The bearded emperor types (with luxuriant and curly hair) were still in vogue toward the end of the second century, especially for the portraits of Antoninus Pius and his successors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, who wished to be regarded as intellectual rulers (lig. 20), Marcus Aurelius s portraits are especially

Fig 17 (left). Claudius as Jupiter ca. 50 Ct,'Vatican Museum* Rome (Photo; Author)

Fi^ 18 (righrt). Vespasian, nrd I st cen, C.E., from the ShiHne of i he Augustus, ^lissnurn, Castdlo di (Photo: Author).

Tig. 19 (below). Portrait of a woman, Impeiial Roman Pfer od.Traj anic or V iadna r ic, 100-125 CJE Place of manufacture: Gn±eoe (possibly). Museurv of" Fine Arts, Boston {Photograph ©2004 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

Fig. 2D. Bust of Ant noninu; Pius, ca. 133-40 C.E. Museo Palatine* Rome (Photo; Author),
Fig. 71 . Septinnius Sever. ca.200 210 C.E, Louvre Museum, Paris (Photc: Author^

I- g. 22. Bust of Caracal la. ca. 214 c.c.. Mysco Nazionalc Rorrtano (Paiaao Massimo all Terme), Rome (Photo: Author), interesting, however, since Lhey show a progression from attractive youth (beard less J, through vigorous middle age (bearded), and finally to a wise and somewhat world-weary old man. The same pattern describes the portraits of his wife, Faustina, who also moved from youthful beauty to middle-aged matron and finally showed the dignity and wisdom of age.*

At the beginning of the third century, the Severan emperors were likewise portrayed with long curly hair and forked beards (fig. 21). Caracalla however, favored a more clipped beard and hairstyle (fig. 22)." Verisimilitude came back into style beginning in the 230s for portraits of the soldi er-emperois Maximinus Thrax and BaJbinus* in order to express the personality of the model and to achieve a realistic likeness, artists employed rough and even impressionistic modeling. The results produced an appearance of severity and implied strength of character. Hh P. l.Orange has analyzed this shift in style as the attainment of "psychological'1 imagery. Musing oil one example of this type, the bust of hmperor PhiJ ip the Arab (244—249 c.k.), I.'Orange writes:

With a great simplifying touch the artist has managed to concentrate physiognomic life in one characteristic i^weep. Iln-e c-en Li^al motif is the threatening lowering of the brows, corresponding to convulsions of the forehead muscles and responding to nervous contractions of the muscles of the mouth. The psychological picture achieves an almost uncanny intensity. Behind the nervous quivering features the expression itself seems to change and move, flashing like ¡1 glimmering flame over the face J

The "man of action" type disappeared again as portraits of Gallienus (253-268) returned to the idealized types. Shown wiLh a short beard, this ruler's smoothly modeled and almost delicately rendered portraits present him as a sensitive person, and his upturned eyes give him the look of spiritual or intellectual aspirations, even though he was an active soldier-emperor in the style of his father, Valerian. Possibly intended to remind the viewer of youthful depictions of Augustus, Gallienus's image-also bears some resemblance to a con temporary portrait found in Ostia and identified by some art historians as a portrait (finally achieved) of the philosopher Plotinus."

The intellectual image was dislodged again, however, at the end of the third century, as the 'let rare lis (Diocletian, Maximian, Constantius, and Galerius) wished to have themselves portrayed as strong and decisive typesj like the soldier-emperors of the mid-third century. The style was more abstract than realistic, however, and likeness appears to have been less important than a ki.nd of conventional frontality and symmetry. In place of smooth modeling, sharp lines and geometric shapes predominate, Hacial features are stylized, with the wide-open and staring eyes that make these subjects look, in Diana Kleiners phrase, like "bearded

Fig 23. Porphyry grou p portrat of theTetraixhs, ca. 300 C.E, originally f-orn Constantinople, now in St. Mark's Square,'Venice (Photo: Author).

Museum Ostia Portrait Plotinus

Fig 25. Constantine I,from the Basilica Nova, ca.3 I5-3Q Museo del Palazzo dei ConservalOri, R^me

{Photffl Author).

blockheads" (fig. 23).u However, they also lend the portraits a kind of hieratic quality that foreshadows the portraits of the early Byzantine period, especially their emphasis on the eyes as the most striking facial feature (fig. 24)."

These stylized or abstract types were adapted once again with the portraits of Co lis tan-tine. Earlier images of Constantine followed those of the tetrarchs, showing him with a short heard and soldier haircut, After the banle of the Ml Man Bridge, however, Constantine's portraiture underwent a dramatic reinvention. He began to be shown as beardless and youthful, with longer hair in curls over his forehead, somewhat like the portraits of the first Augustus, or possibly Trajan.1'1 One of the best-known portraits of Constantine, the head from the colossal statue from the Basilica Nova (now in the Museo del Palazzo dei Conservatory fig. 25), shows some similarities to the earlier tetrarch portraits, with its wide-staring eyes, geometric shapes, and sharp angles. But it also shows the emperor as beardless, looking slightly upward—giving him a kind of spiritualized appearance possibly intended to associate him with his patron gods (Sol and/or the Christian God), Portraits of Lhe sons of Constantine are often difficult to distinguish from those of Constantine himself, as once more the portrait type became conventionalized, now having a more idealized appearance and what Kleiner calls "the bland classicism of Augustan times which also subsumed individuality.111'

All these changes in the wray that imperial portraits were produced show the difficulty in trying to establish the parameters of a likeness" Roman portraits, especially portraits of rulers, were carefully constructed linages, revealing more than the mere physical appearance of the model. Character and particular virtues were projected through

Fig 24,Theodosius I. ca. ieO-^O C.F., Louvre Museum, Paris (Photoc Author}.

Fig 25. Constantine I,from the Basilica Nova, ca.3 I5-3Q Museo del Palazzo dei ConservalOri, R^me

{Photffl Author).

Fig 23. Porphyry grou p portrat of theTetraixhs, ca. 300 C.E, originally f-orn Constantinople, now in St. Mark's Square,'Venice (Photo: Author).

Fig 24,Theodosius I. ca. ieO-^O C.F., Louvre Museum, Paris (Photoc Author}.

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