We have just returned from Rome where we undertook a preliminary series of interviews with Peter Rockwell in his studio in Monteverde. The aim of this week was to browse through all of Peter's slides, picking some for further discussion, in order to gauge the character of the collection. We looked in detail at slides of the Temple of Vespasian and the Column of Trajan in Rome, the Sebasteion in Aphrodisias, but we also delved into his images of Indian rock-cut temple carvings, the facade of Orvieto cathedral, and even the Easter Island statues. Peter's slide collection covers an enormous range of sites and objects and much of these later examples provide useful comparisons for the Roman material in which we are primarily interested.
Here are some of our favourite images from this first week in Rome.
A detail of the chainmail of a Roman cavalryman on the Great Trajanic Frieze from the Arch of Constantine on which the vertical holes made by the cord drill can still be seen.
A close-up of the tunic of a figure in the procession adorning the upper frieze on the Arch of Trajan at Benevento. The scratched lines which crisscross the tunic are traces of the rasp, a finishing tool similar to a file, used to smooth the surface after chiseling.