Statues Of Jerks

In Monty Python’s Life of Brian, we see a Roman statue being lugged into Jerusalem past a collection of crucified corpses. The sheer cheesiness of the prop, which looks as if it is made of Styrofoam, seems to be saying, “Future ages will bow down before this and call it Art, but look, it’s just a cheap image of some corrupt Roman jerk”. And quite right too: that is exactly what a Roman statue was. Augustus plastered most of the known world with statues of himself with arm imperiously raised, but somehow contriving to look like a nerd hailing a taxicab with no expectation of one stopping. For some strange reason, these statues are still considered Art long after the precisely analogous statues of Lenin, Stalin and Saddam have been melted down to make something useful.

Posted on August 9, 2009 at 11:38 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: GETTING MEDIEVAL, These Romans Are Crazy

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