Romans of the Decadence

Published: 2021-06-29 06:39:38
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Category: History Other

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The painting by Thomas Couture depicts a party in an outdoor building, where Roman men and women are involved. A lot of the participants are barely dressed or not at all, and it seems many are drunk or passed out. However, there are a few that are not taking part in the celebration, particularly two males on the right, who seem to be disapproving and one lonely male on the left.
The viewpoint the artist has depicted is one of moral ambiguity, indulgence, and carelessness. However, the painting seems exaggerated or modified in most elements. Everyone, except the three males, are seen laying around, intoxicated. The painting portrays the Romans as lazy people who drank, and had parties. The Romans in the painting are not doing anything of importance and seem to have no purpose. Thomas Couture idealizes the half or entirely nude Romans, as having their morals gone. This can also be seen by the statues around the Romans that are looking disapprovingly upon them and the acts they were committing. The statues are modified, as Roman statues were generally made to look solemn and elegant. Also, there is an overturned vase on the floor, in the center of the painting, that no one is concerned about. The interpretation is that Romans were careless with valuables or possessions. The carelessness of the vase may not be important, but from what has been depicted in other Roman paintings and works, everything had a place and was carefully taken care of. One element of the painting that was not modified was the architecture of the building. The columns and statues seem to be a true representation of Roman engineering.
The entire painting seems to be exaggerated, therefore it does not affect the way I view Roman civilization. I assume the Romans did have parties and were very comfortable with their sexuality but I doubt it was to the point that Thomas Couture portrays.

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