“The painter, the true painter, will be he who can wring from contemporary life its epic aspect and make us see and understand, with color or in drawing, how great and poetic we are in our cravats and our polished boots.” -- Charles Baudelaire
Arch of Constantine.
Dedicated in 315 A.D., the Roman Senate awarded this triumphal arch to Emperor Constantine, constructed to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Milvian Bridge (312 A.D.), where he believed that God predicted his victory in a dream. Like the Roman emperor that he was, Constantine felt no shame in taking sculptures from previous monuments to add to his own monument. Some of the sculptures at the top of the arch were taken from the Column of Trajan, depicting Dacian prisoners. It is easy to see which ones were made in his time—the Constantinian-era portraits are shorter and stockier, with little depth, and clustered together; others, like the Hadrian-era sculptures, are much more classicized and show much greater depth. The frieze, constructed in Constantine’s own time, depicts him driving Maxentius’ troops into the Tiber River.