The Influence of the Eastern Roman Civilization on the Imperial Portraits in Egypt and the Neighboring Countries from the First to the Fourth Century AD

Shaza Ismail

Abstract


Roman Sculpture, with artists from across a huge empire and changing public tastes over centuries, is above all else, remarkable for its sheer variety and eclectic mix. The art form blended the idealized perfection of earlier Classical Greek sculpture with a greater aspiration for realism and absorbed artistic preferences and styles from the East to create images in stone and bronze which rank among the finest works from antiquity. Aside from their own unique contribution, Roman sculptors have also, with their popular copies of earlier Greek masterpieces, preserved for posterity invaluable works which would have otherwise been completely lost to world art. The aim of this paper is to discuss a distinguished type of Roman sculpture which is the portrait and the differences between the schools, periods, functions and characteristics in the eastern Roman Empire. Although the political circumstances around the empire was almost the same yet Egypt had always succeeded to keep its own style and special artistic features. Egyptian artists were always affected by their predecessors and tried to keep their culture and characteristics throughput the ages. The paper will try to move smoothly through these periods focusing on Roman Egypt and the art of portraits till the early period of Christianity.


Keywords


Imperial portraits, the Flavians, Trajan, mummy portraits, mixed Graeco Egyptian, schools of art, Philological division

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