Sculptor: an artist who makes sculptures
Sculpture: the action or art of processing (as by carving, modeling, or welding) plastic or hard materials into works of art
Family: a group of people who are related to one another
Pictures of students with their families
Printed pictures of families from around the world
Families by Ann Morris
Families: Around the World, One Kid at a Time by Sophie Furlaud, Pierre Verboud, and Uwe Ommer
This marble relief was carved to fit into the facade of a stone tomb that probably stood along a major road outside Rome. Information about the three people derives both from the Latin inscription at the bottom of the relief and the images themselves. The inscription names the three figures as Sextus Maelius Stabilio, Vesinia Iucunda, and Sextus Maelius Faustus, and indicates that the men were freed slaves of Sextus Maelius and that the woman was freed by a Roman matron named Vesinia. The letter L in the inscription is an abbreviation for libertus, meaning freedman, or liberta, for freedwoman. Such reliefs were often commissioned by recently enfranchised slaves and their families as a way of establishing the social and familial identity and relationships that had been legally denied to them.
The handshake shared by the older man and the woman identifies them as husband and wife. Iucunda also wears a bride’s veil and her betrothal ring, and she holds her left hand to her face in a wife’s traditional gesture of modesty. The younger man is probably the couple’s son, born to them while they were still slaves. He may have been responsible for commissioning this monument. The emphasis on the symbols of marriage evident in this relief reflects the importance attached to the family during the reign of Augustus (31 B.C.E.–C.E. 14 ).
John Singleton Copley was never content with being the finest portrait painter in the American colonies. He fortuitously quit Boston just as revolution was breaking out and settled in London. There he had to refashion his whole style of painting to appeal to aristocratic patrons. One of his first major commissions came from an old Boston acquaintance. Once the wealthiest man in New England, William Pepperrell paid dearly for his loyalty to the Crown. The family was forced into exile, but not before the tragic death of Lady Pepperrell. Thus the portrait Sir William commissioned from Copley is an elaborate fiction, the family made whole again. For the grieving widower and his children, the painting offered a comforting vision of what might have been had not war and death come knocking.