Comparing with the Colossal Head: The image used for this portion of the manuscript is the Colossal Head of Constantine. This image shows some of the modeling I did with terre vert to make the statue and ‘torn’ section of vellum seem three-dimensional, a technique sometimes called trompe l'oiel.
The Colossal Head of Constantine is an example of the Late Antique
"hieratic emperor style" in Roman portrait statues. It was meant to convey the transcendence of the other-worldly nature of the Emperor over the
human sphere, notable in its larger-than-life eyes which gaze toward eternity from a rigidly impersonal, frontal face. The famous 8.5' marble
bust of Constantine the Great was once found in the western apse of the Basilica Maxentius in the Roman Forum, and is now displayed in
the courtyard of the Palazzo dei Conservatori in Rome. Although it does contain some remnants of individualistic portraiture (eg: the hooked
nose), this statue typifies the trends of Late Roman portraiture by focusing on symbolism and abstraction, rather than detail. Constantine
virtually becomes the "image" of authority, making it doubly ironic that the statue exists only in fragments. A more extreme perspective on the
fragility of even monumental visual art in comparison with the written word can be found in the poem, "Ozymandias," by Percy Bysshe Shelley.