Sofie Heiberg Plovdrup

Sofie Heiberg Plovdrup

PhD fellow

Current research

PhD project title: Facing the Portrait: Construction of Identity in Etruscan and Roman Portraiture as Reflected in Material Culture. 


This project however intends to explore the complex political and cultural relationship, partly negotiated by visual means, between Etruria and Rome in the late Republican and early Imperial period. The scope of the project is twofold. First it seeks to understand how the meeting between the two cultures of Etruria and Rome were mediated in the portrait traditions of both. The focus will be on the use of materials, iconography and how the portraits functioned within their context. Secondly, the project will explore the role Etruscan and Roman portraiture played in the construction of identity and concept of self. This will be explored by focusing on three main themes through the project: likeness, materiality and context.

The merit of this project lies in its proposed effort to tackle the independent areas of Etruscan and Roman portraiture as a whole, at a time when Rome underwent a transformation from Republic to Empire, and it represents a break in the scholarly tradition of perceiving Greek sculpture and Greece as the only source of influence on Roman portraiture.

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