Art of the Ancient World, C. 5000 B.c.e.–400 C.E.

Roman Art

What is The Orator?

The Orator is a life-size, bronze sculpture of Aulus Metellus, a Roman official from the time of the Roman Republic. Made in either the first or second century B.C.E., the work depicts the authoritative politician addressing a crowd with his right arm raised. Wearing traditional leather boots and a toga, the portrait sculpture is part of a tradition of Roman realism known as verism, popular during the time of the democratic Republic. Statues like this would have been placed on the tops of columns as a form of memorial, where it would appear as if the figure was addressing the people below.


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