Roman Ornamentation Erica Dawn Nelson
Differences Between Greek and Roman Greece was a number of city states held together mainly by language, religion, and race. Rome, on the other hand, was a single state of many languages, religions, and races, held together by a powerful and highly organized military. Before the Romans conquered the Greeks, their artwork came mainly from the Etruscans, showing Asiatic influences. The arch and bronze were the main Etruscan influences.
Etruscan Influence The Etruscans made their buildings out of wood, but their decoration, as seen here in these borders, detail work, and pilaster were made of terra-cotta.
Greek Influence When Greece was absorbed into the Roman empire, its architecture, art, and ornamentation came along with it. Roman building made originally with brick, terra-cotta, and wood began to add stoneand marble to the structure. Construction was mainly of coarse materials. Finer materials were used in detail, such as stucco, mosaic, marble wainscot or veneer, or facings of cut stone, with moldings, panels, friezes, cornices, carving, sculpture and the like, Some pieces like key structural features and adjuncts as columns, porticoes and porches were wholly made of the finer materials.
Pilasters Fresco wall painting in a cubiculum (bedroom) from the Villa of P. Fannius Synistor at Boscoreale, ca. 40–30 b.c.; Late Republican
One of Rome’s most famous structures also shows the work of pilasters. At the top of the structure, we see basic rectangular pilasters, while the center and bottom feature rounded pilasters in Ionic and Corinthian styles. Roman Coliseum
Artwork in Pilasters Pilaster fragment in Villa Medici, Rome Pilaster fragment with double rinceau, in Palazzo Fano, Rome
In architecture, a rinceau is “a decorative border or strip, featuring stylized vines with leaves and often with fruit or flowers. It first appears as a decorative motif in Classical antiquity. Roman rinceaux most often consisted of an undulating double vine growing from a vase. Branches, vines, and thistles are mixed together in Gothic rinceaux, and in Renaissance examples tiny animals or human heads appear.” Rinceaux
Anthemion is “a design consisting of a number of radiating petals, developed by the ancient Greeks from the Egyptian and Asiatic form known as the honeysuckle or lotus palmette. The anthemion was used widely by the Greeks and Romans to embellish various parts of ancient buildings. The Greeks originally decorated only pottery with the motif, but they soon adapted it to ornament architecture. The single-palmette form appears on acroteria (decorative pedestals), antefixes (roof or cornice elements), and the top of vertical stelae. The continuous pattern of alternating lotus and palmette springing from connecting spirals decorates especially the cyma recta molding of the cornice.” Anthemion
Sources Hamlin, A. D. F. A History of Ornament: Ancient and Medieval. Century: 1916. p 127-68. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=6414590 http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/galleries/Arts/roman_ornament.php http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchresult.cfm?word=Architectural%20decorations%20%26%20ornaments%20--%20Rome&s=3¬word=&f=2 http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ho/04/eust/ho_03.14.13a-g.htm http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Roman_Colosseum_With_Moon.jpg http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/503911/rinceau http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/27277/anthemion