New PDF release: A Handbook of Roman art : a comprehensive survey of all the
By Martin Henig
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Extra info for A Handbook of Roman art : a comprehensive survey of all the arts of the Roman world
12 The factor of seven in that number contrasts with the eightfold layout of the recesses in the wall and of the aediculae between them, a subtle variation in the rhythm of the decoration which seems to detach the dome from the cylinder upon which in fact it rests. The oculus at the top, the sole source of light, draws the eye upwards, but there is also a discreet note of axiality which runs across the rotunda from the entrance to the apse on the opposite side. There is no feeling of rigid enclosure within this building: the whole impression is one of soaring space.
This was the main feature in which the Ionic entablature was modified, and another was the highly ornate decoration of the cornice. More than one Augustan style is apparent. The Forum of Augustus and its Temple of Mars Ultor were decorated with motifs copied directly as in the stucco interior decoration from classical Athens, as well as such major elements as replicas of the Caryatid columns of the Erechtheum. The Temples of Apollo Sosianus and of Castor had a more luxuriant and florid ornament.
In planning the market there was no room for the rigid axial symmetry of the Forum and the Baths. ' 4 At the bottom, a two-storey semicircle of shops follows the curve of the exedra in the outside wall of the Forum. That wall no longer stands, so we have a much better view of the Market now than was ever possible in antiquity. The lower storey has doorways of travertine, and the arches above them were originally walled in. The arched windows in the upper storey are framed by very shallow pilasters and crowned by curved, triangular, or half-triangular, pediments.
A Handbook of Roman art : a comprehensive survey of all the arts of the Roman world by Martin Henig