Augustus of Primaporta is a well-known Roman artwork from around 40 BC. It depicts a young man in armor with a powerful and attractive physique. The statue serves to convey Augustus’ connection to the past, as well as his military victories, his relationship with the gods, and his role in bringing about the Roman Peace. Augustus is presented in military clothing, with a consular baton symbolizing his strength and achievements.
The statue had a propagandistic purpose in Roman politics, representing Augustus’ ideals and using the power and influence of imagery to spread his ideology across the Roman Empire. Augustan art is a blend of Greek and Roman elements, and in portraits of Augustus, politics and art were closely intertwined. Augustus used art to unite Rome through his ideals, with the statue of Augustus of Primaporta being an excellent example of this.
Symbolism is present throughout the statue, with the top half of the armor breastplate depicting Augustus’ successes and status as a military victor. The statue demonstrates how art played a significant role in Roman politics, with Augustus employing its power to influence the people of Rome. The artwork is still admired today for its composition, craftsmanship, and symbolism.