Roman limestone funerary relief representing a marriage, 3rd century A.D.
The ancient Romans were great portraits, portrayed in niches and even in funerary masks. This relief is framed in a niche-shaped frame in which we find a Roman couple, dressed in their festive shawls, in a very chosen way. The sweetness of the portrait for the beyond makes this piece a unique example of this type of representation.
The period of time between the third and fifth centuries is known as the end of Lower Imperial Rome, a moment that corresponds to the mandate of Diocletian with which the decline of the Empire began. When Rome seems to have reached its peak, the Hellenistic tradition begins to decline. There is a deterioration of the institutions, a fall in the economy and constant attacks from the barbarian peoples, facts that will be reflected in the artistic scene.
In the field of sculpture there was also a decline in technique, moving away from the realism of previous periods and giving rise to circumstances such as disproportion or loss of detail. The fundamental factor in these circumstances is that the Empire is going through a moment in which it is not interested in what is seen but in what is to be transmitted, in other words, the concept or idea is more important.