Side opposite Augustus
original north side

Central Section of Scrolling Acanthus Frieze

Apart from a few deliberately left voids, one infill piece, and a bit of plaster to fill cracks, everything we see on this portion of the relief is part of the original Ara Pacis Augustae. This section of the scrolling acanthusl frieze has survived with relatively little damage or restoration and is the best large section of the entire monument in which to see the remarkable quality of the original carving. Apart from the virtuoso undercutting, differentiation of forms, and subtlety treatment of surfaces, the ability of the sculptors to convey so convincingly the strength and vitality of vegetal life equals the finest examples in the history of art.

To examine the remarkable details (such as the snake attacking a nest of baby birds along the bottom of the frieze) use the zoom slider at upper-left of the full size image.