Roman Relief Plaques Reproductions
The study of ancient Roman sculpture is complicated by its relation to Greek sculpture. Many examples of even the most famous Greek sculptures, such as the Apollo Belvedere and Barberini Faun, are known only from Roman Imperial or Hellenistic "copies." At one time, this imitation was taken by art historians as indicating a narrowness of the Roman artistic imagination, but in the late 20th-century, Roman art began to be reevaluated on its own terms: some impressions of the nature of Greek sculpture may in fact be based on Roman artistry. Examples of Roman sculpture are abundantly preserved. Latin and some Greek authors, particularly Pliny the Elder in Book 34 of his Natural History, describe statues, and a few of these descriptions match extant works. While a great deal of Roman sculpture survives more or less intact, it is often damaged or fragmentary. Roman sarcophagi, mainly dating from the 1st to the 4th centuries CE, offer examples of intricate reliefs that depict scenes often based on Greek and Roman mythology or mystery religions that offered personal salvation, and allegorical representations. Roman funerary art also offers a variety of scenes from everyday life, such as game-playing, hunting, and military endeavors.