Spain Arts in Antiquity

By | January 1, 2022

According to FASHIONISSUPREME, Spain had a lively and original artistic flowering in prehistoric times (see Iberian, peninsula: Prehistory). Later, under the Phoenician and Greek influence, the southern and eastern regions of it gave birth to a characteristic art, in which the external derivations appear fused and reworked by the spirit of the Iberian indigenous peoples (see iberi). The artistic manifestations of the Roman period, on the other hand, if a few of them of a private nature are removed, that is, above all some monuments of nature and funeral destination, it can be said that they do not present any or almost any imprint of their own, which distinguishes them from those of other regions. where the Roman civilization threw its roots. It can be noted if ever that the profound Romanization of the country meant that these artistic manifestations here took on a more perfect Roman character than elsewhere, so that if a comparison to them can be found, this is only with the monuments of Italy, or, subordinately, with those of Africa, with which Spain has had multiple points of contact under various aspects.

It is not surprising, however, given the continuity of life that the peninsula has had over the centuries, if the Roman monuments of Spain are much less numerous than those of Africa, and that entire cities, although much more modest than those in Africa, do not have been preserved in Spain as well as in Emporion and Numantia.

From the period of the wars of conquest, Spain has preserved in greater number and better conditions than elsewhere the remains of Roman camps, in which we find the most faithful commentary on the Polybean text, and of siege works: particularly studied are those of Fulvio Nobiliore and by Scipione Emiliano around Numantia.

In the imperial period the cities were generally surrounded by walls; almost entirely surviving is the circle of Lugo; elements of those of Tarragona, of the gates of Barcelona, ​​of Carmona, Coria (Caurium), etc. are preserved.

Constructions of public utility are the bridges (of which Spain preserves in the famous one of Alcántara, probably the work of a Spanish architect, C. Giulio Lacer, and in those of Mérida, of Martorell, etc., excellent examples) and the aqueducts, among which those of Segovia, of Tarragona, of Mérida, of Hispalis are particularly grandiose. Among these constructions we can also remember the (reconstructed) lighthouse of La Coruña, of which we also know the architect, C. Servio Lupo. A very well preserved small temple is in Vich, the ancient Ausa ; elements of other sacred buildings we have in Barcelona, ​​Mérida and other cities, in addition to the small chapel at the Alcántara bridge.

Among the theaters, those of Mérida, restored in the scene, of Sagunto and Clunia deserve particular mention; between the amphitheaters the grandiose one of Italica and that of Mérida; among the circuses those of Mérida, Cadiz, Toledo, etc.

In contrast to the frequency that occurs in Africa, few honorary arches can be remembered in Spain: the one erroneously called of Trajan in Mérida, perhaps a city gate, that of Bará near Tarragona, erected in memory of L. Licinio Sura, general of Trajan, that of Medinaceli (ancient Oscilis) with three arches, and a small one with four fronts from ancient Capera, near Cáceres.

The few mausoleums of a monumental nature, including the one known as the Scipios along the road from Barcelona to Tarragona, are combined with the type with high basement and overlapping floors frequent in Africa, or more rarely with the one in the form of a small temple. Completely original form, it presents the sepulcher of the Atilii in Sadaba (Zaragoza) with a rich front with triangular niches and pediments in a Baroque style. It is in the more modest sepulchral monuments that the persistence of Phoenician or Iberian types is found, as, as regards private buildings, in the houses of Numantia; the vast necropolis of Carmona has rooms dug underground with access wells and niches in the walls sometimes decorated with paintings; in the celt region. figures of bulls are frequent to adorn the tombs, in which forms of art already flourished in the peninsula in the pre-Roman period. Apart from these, the works of sculptures do not exhibit any particular characteristics, and so do the mosaics, among which the smallemblem of Emporie with the scene of the sacrifice of Iphigenia, and the great floor of Barcelona with the circus races, as well as the scant remains of paintings, found above all in the burial chambers.

Spain Arts in Antiquity