Ancient Roman sculptors had a knack for combining heterogeneous models of the past into eclectic new compositions. Mars and Venus as a couple are perhaps the most famous of those creations. In the second century AD, their divine bodies—based on Classical Greek sculptures—were used for contemporary double portraits of husbands and wives. How, exactly, did the love affair between the two gods become an acceptable representation of marriage and concordia, the Roman concept of marital harmony? This lecture explores a question that has puzzled scholars since the 1600s: What did Roman viewers, and what shall we, make of these odd—or not so odd—couples?
About Programs at the Ancient Art Council
Programs are varied and include such activities as lectures by noted archaeologists, museum curators, and ancient art historians; exclusive tours of the Museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions; fund-raising events; and travel programs to ancient sites and other museums. Members also receive invitations from related organizations to attend lectures ad exhibition openings. Your annual membership dues and contributions will assist in furthering the Ancient Art collection at the Fine Arts Museums.
Couples in Roman Sculpture: Myth, History, and Propaganda
John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Theater, Legion of Honor
Dr. Jens Daehner
AAC member/free; general/$5 donation suggested