Wax masks and Roman portrait

Wax masks and Roman portrait
Yareah Magazine

by IZara

Brutus Barberini, Roman portrait

Brutus Barberini

The peculiar old Roman custom of venerating ancestors brought positive consequences.

It improved the Roman portrait. Always more expressive and realist that the Greek one, even that the Hellenistic sculptures.

When a person died, its familiars immediately put on its face a wax mask. All of the wrinkles and marks of the age were reflected on it. Afterwards and depending on the family wealth, a portrait was made of brass, marble or clay. The portrait was put on the family altar and everyday, the patriarch honored its memory.

Ancient Romans didn’t like an ideal beauty but real men or women. The Roman artists are masters to look inside ourselves: also ugly, also imperfect… In other words, human.

**This sculpture, where we can see three generations, is in Rome, in the Museum Capitolini. 3rd. century.

Other Roman masks (theatre)

Other Roman masks (theatre)

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