April 2017


Sophie Waters - Ars Fingendi: Architectural Decoration and Variation in Republican Italy

  • Monday, 3 April 2017 - 6:30pm
AAR Lecture Room

Before the widespread use of Luna marble beginning in the 1st century BCE, Italic architectural decoration was dominated by brightly painted terracotta sculpture.  This body of material has been surprisingly neglected in scholarship on Republican art, but has much to tell us about the visual culture of towns, as well as how individuals and communities chose to represent themselves.  This paper uses architectural terracottas to examine the network of contacts and interactions between central-Italic sites during the mid-to-late Republic.  It asks not only which types were widespread and which unique to individual towns/regions, but why this range exists, and what the choice of one decorative type over another might signify to artisans, commissioners, or viewers.  By examining these choices, we can begin to better understand how towns and communities chose to represent themselves in relation to their neighbors and to Rome.

Sophie Waters is the Irene Rosenzweig / Lily Auchincloss / Samuel H. Kress Foundation Rome Prize Fellows in Ancient Studies at the American Academy in Rome and a Ph.D. Candidate in the Graduate Group in the Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World at the University of Pennsylvania.

The shoptalk will be held in English.

Please note: valid photo ID is required for entry into the American Academy in Rome. Backpacks and luggage with dimensions larger than cm 40 x 35 x 15 (inches 16 x 14 x 6) are not permitted on the property. There are no locker facilities available.