fullscreen background
Skip to main content

Summer Quarter

Summer Registration Now Open
Most Classes Begin Jun 26
shopping cart icon0


« Back to Liberal Arts & Sciences

ARTH 54 — Unforgettable Roman Art: Treasures Surviving Millennia

Quarter: Summer
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): Jul 6—Aug 3
Time: 7:00—9:05 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jul 8
Unit: 1
Tuition: $370
Instructor(s): Patrick Hunt
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—9:05 pm (PT)
Jul 6—Aug 3
5 weeks
Refund Date
Jul 8
1 Unit
Patrick Hunt
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Our modern word for art is based on the Latin word ars, which becomes artis, arte, etc., in other variations. While Roman art evokes images of graceful marble statues housed in columned temples, the treasures of Roman civilization are more numerous, diverse, and fascinating than that alone. This course explores the finest Roman art across several media, demonstrating the rich legacy of Mediterranean culture in the evolution of Western art.

Many Roman art forms derive from Etruscan and Greek antecedents. In slide-illustrated lectures, we will begin with sculpture, which is rightly famous for its unusual realism and often referred to as the “School of Verity.” We will then cover Roman painting, as distinguished in the Four Pompeian styles on frescoed walls, featuring rich color and diverse mythological detail. From there, we will explore mosaics, derived from Hellenistic Greek models and uniquely developed with colors in tessera and Romanized subject matter. We’ll look at sardonyx stone and glass Roman cameos—micro-sculptures in profile relief—which inspired great Renaissance treasures. Finally, we will examine Roman stones used as seals or pendants—similar to coins with detailed portraiture—and decorations for gold jewelry that developed from Greek and Etruscan models. Students will leave this course with an intimate view of the finest Roman art, an apt expression of Roman aesthetics still often copied today.

Former Director, Stanford Alpine Archaeology Project; Research Associate, Archeoethnobotany, Institute of EthnoMedicine

Patrick Hunt is the author of 25 books and is a lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America. He received a PhD from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. Hunt is an elected Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers Club, and he is an explorer and expeditions expert for National Geographic. His Alps research has been sponsored by the National Geographic Expeditions Council.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Steven Tuck, A History of Roman Art (ISBN 978-1119653288)