The Blackwell-Bristol Lectures 2012

Dr. Bettina Bergmann (Mount Holyoke)

1st, 2nd, 8th and 9th May

Lecture Theatre 1, 43 Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 IUU, 5.15 p.m.

Worlds on the Wall: the Experience of Place in Roman Art

The four lectures plot a voyage through ancient Roman images of places. We begin with the matrix of visual experience, the built environment that included intimate domestic interiors and monumental public porticoes. That structured framework opened onto a variety of perspectives transcending space and time: views lead into sacred groves, scan bustling harbors, or ascend to elevated panoramas of land and sea. This imagery comprised a new visual language of the environment, an ideal, composite realm that embraced archaic nature worship together with sophisticated, contemporary artifice. The landscape images take their place alongside official and scientific evidence for the Roman organization of space. In art, as in maps and on the land itself, the geometric grid was a means to discipline nature, and with it, people’s movements and perceptions.

Lecture One:  Boundaries

Lecture Two:  Into the Woods

Lecture Three:  Seaside Marvels

Lecture Four:  The Bird’s Eye View