I’d like to begin by comparing some pieces of art. In The Fallen Warrior (Greece) and The Dying Gaul (Roman copy) both clearly represent a tragic event. Both subjects are leaning on the ground and seem to be dying but the reality of the event is more evident in the Gaul sculpture. The wound is clearly visible and the anguish of the subject is captured in his poise. Conversely the subject of the Warrior piece looks rather content and shows no visible injury. Both works are roughly the same size and represent a relatively perfect human structure with attention to muscular detail as well as an idealization of the human body.
However, the Warrior sculpture shows less optical fact and more stylization as far as the eyes, mouth and beard are concerned when compared to the almost true to nature elements of the Gaul piece. This shows how some of the Greek foundation was carried along but modified by the Romans. In The Three Goddesses (Greece) and Marcus Aurelius on Horseback (Rome) there are many similarities. Each shows fine attention to the cloaks worn by the subjects as well as weight distribution and, if all limbs were present on the Three Goddesses, implied motion.
But in the Aurelius sculpture there is a shift from strictly human subjects to the addition of a horse. The Romans did this as part of their love of realism along with their later concern for psychologically penetrating portraits. Moving along to architecture I’d like to compare the Parthenon (Greece) and the Pantheon (Rome). Upon looking at each structure you would immediately notice the use of columns. Albeit the Parthenon’s main weight-bearing elements are the columns whereas the columns used on the Pantheon are more aesthetic than functional. Each of these structures also makes use of a portico that originated in the Greek culture.
Both structures are immense places of worship to the gods. The Parthenon was created for the goddess Athena but over the centuries it changed through a series of hands finally ending up as an ammunition dump for the Turks during a seventeenth century war with the Venetians. The Venetians bombed the building leaving most of it in ruins. The Pantheon was created as a house for sculptures of Roman gods. Enough care was taken throughout the centuries that this structure is still being used for religious functions today. The Parthenon was a more simplistic and ancient looking design where the Pantheon took on a whole new era.
The dome came into play along with the many ornamental features seen on the inside as well as the outside of the Pantheon. The interior contains marble slabs and granite columns. These are accentuated when the sun shifts locations through the oculus in the center of the dome. These features reaffirm the fact that the Greek culture was to the point as far as balance of mind and body. They created their work meticulously but didn’t overdo it. Their buildings were functional but not overworked. The Roman culture took it to the next level with their architectural innovations as well as their emphasis on beauty.