The Roman Imperial Image between Coinage and Sculpture. Reconstruction and Interpretation of Processes for Transmission and Multimedia Diversification into 2D vs. 3D Metropolitan Visual Culture

Starting date
December 15, 2022
Duration (months)
Managers or local contacts
Calomino Dario
image, imagery, roman, empire

The IRIMeS project is a fundamental complement to the research activities of the ERC Cog RESP project. It will apply the methodology based on 3D
imaging and modelling, which has been designed for the study of Roman provincial portraiture as part of RESP, to the parallel field of study of
metropolitan portraiture and representation of Roman emperors. The aim of IRIMeS is to investigate and reconstruct the manufacturing and artistic
processes by which imperial portraits derived from a shared model were adapted for use on different visual media and formats. The research will focus
on the integrated analysis of coinage and sculpture, looking at a selection of case studies of three typologies of portraits: coin portraits and sculptural
portraits in relief and in the round. An extensive sample of coins and sculptures will be scanned in 3D to form a digital archive of imperial portraits in low
relief, in high relief and in the round. This set of data will be processed, cross-checked and overlapped to reconstruct how the image-making process
worked and varied on different visual media. This study will result from a truly interdisciplinary synergy within the University of Verona, between the
Department of Cultures and Civilisations, where the PI and the main researcher will be based, and the Department of Computer Science, where a team
of specialists in applied physics, metrology and computer graphics will contribute to the research sharing their expertise and technology. IRIMeS will not
only rely on the partnerships established for the RESP project with major UK research institutions such as King’s College and the University of
Warwick, and with European museums, including the British Museum and the Copenhagen Glyptotek, but it will also have a solid operational basis in
Italy. The research on sculpture will be based on the extensive collections of imperial portraits of the Capitoline Museums and of casts of imperial
portraits and reliefs in the Museum of Roman Civilisation in Rome. The analysis and 3D scanning of imperial coins will be carried out on the numismatic
collection of the Museo di Castelvecchio in Verona, which will also host a themed exhibition to present and disseminate the results of the project.


Funds: assigned and managed by the department

Project participants

Dario Calomino
Associate Professor
Research areas involved in the project
Archeologia del mondo antico e medievale
Archaeology, archaeometry, landscape archaeology


Research facilities