Alastair Sooke takes an in-depth look at the art of the Roman Empire in an attempt to refute the claims that Rome didn’t produce any art of originality during its reign.
Season 01, Episode 01 – “Warts n All”
Alastair Sooke traces how the Romans during the Republic went from being art thieves and copycats to pioneering a new artistic style – warts ‘n’ all realism. Roman portraits reveal what the great names from history, men like Julius Caesar and Cicero, actually looked like. Modern-day artists demonstrate the ingenious techniques used to create these true to life masterpieces in marble, bronze and paint. We can step back into the Roman world thanks to their invention of the documentary-style marble relief and to a volcano called Vesuvius. Sooke explores the remarkable artistic legacy of Pompeii before showing how Rome’s first emperor, Augustus, used the power of art to help forge an empire.