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Ara Pacis Augustae - Rome

This page highlights examples of Classical Roman-themed high-relief sculptures produced by the A Touch of Rome studio in Ottawa, Canada.  Each piece takes several weeks, sometimes two or three months to produce in a process of a carved wood layer, plaster layer, and composite layer veneer with the hardness of stone.  Featured below are three pieces based on the Roman goddesses DIANA, VENUS, and FLORA, shown below.


A relief sculpture is not a standing sculpture that is independent. Instead, it is part of a wall, floor, or ceiling surface. For example, if you cut a ball in half and stuck it on a wall, that half-ball would now be a relief. The word "relief", in connection to sculpture, comes from the Latin word "relevo" which means "to raise."

Some reliefs project outward a lot, which makes them High Relief scultpures, while other relief sculptures project outwards just a little, making them Low Relief sculptures. On this page I highlight three high-relief sculptures created by A Touch of Rome.


The Roman goddess Diana, sister of Apollo and daughter of Jupiter, is more commonly portrayed as a goddess of the Hunt. However, Diana is actually a deity associated with the Hunt, the Moon, the Underworld, the countryside, crossroads, and childbirth. Roman gods often had many aspects to them.

As Goddess of the Moon she thus has aspects of Luna, Roman Goddess of the Moon, related to the Greek Selene who also was associated with the Greek Artemis.  As Goddess of the Underworld, she is associated with the Roman Hekate, related to the Greek Hecate.

This high-relief bust is based on a concept by Hiram Powers, American Neoclassical sculptor of the 1800s. He was one of the greatest Neoclassical sculptors and I thank him for the inspiration.

I gave my interpretation of his magnificent achievement a slightly modern feel:  the more aged features are not idealized, with just a touch of realism.  Though this piece pales in comparison to Mr. Power's creation, I nevertheless feel my interpretation does radiate with a certain majesty, emotion and beauty of its own.

The tiara with moon and stars above and the supple and numerous folds of her gown below frame her face perfectly. Her expression is a mixture of nobility and calmness. The effect of this powerful sculpture in a room is most profound.

•  This piece measures 12 x 8 inches (30 x 20.5 cm).

•   It weighs 6 pounds (3 kilo) approximately.
•   It comes with wooden plaque for mounting the sculpture on a wall surface. Purchaser can specify whether or not they want the sculpture attached (glued) to the wooden plaque. Some people prefer to use their own plaque.

•   It has an inner core of wood and plaster with composite veneer surface

- Dianae Et Injuriosum Retines Putto -

photo of a high-relief sculpture of roman goddess Venus with a nest of cherubs in her lap and one 
cherub is flying away

close-up photo of a high-relief sculpture of roman goddess Venus with a nest of cherubs in her lap and one 
cherub is flying away

photo of a high-relief sculpture - lit from behind - of roman goddess Venus with a nest of cherubs in her lap and one 
cherub is flying away

close-up photo of a high-relief sculpture - lit from behind - of roman goddess Venus with a nest of cherubs in her lap and one 
cherub is flying away Your browser does not support the video tag.

photo of a high-relief sculpture  - from above and three-quarter view - of roman goddess Venuswith a nest of cherubs in her lap and one 
cherub is flying away

This high-relief is a re-imagining of an original concept created in 1832 by Bertel Thorvaldsen of Denmark. This sculpture is carved from wood with a layer of plaster and a veneer of a composite material that hardens into a stone-like surface and sheen. This piece took over six months to produce.

In my opinion, the intrinsic beauty of the piece and interaction between the cherubs, Venus and the dog has been preserved. ;Venus is sitting on a rock formation with a nest of cherubs on her lap. One of the cherubs has "escaped the nest" and Venus is gently encouraging him to return, but he doesn't want to. Another cherub is stroking the gentle dog's nose while another is asleep with his head resting on Venus's abdomen. Just under her feet you can see a shepherd's cane resting on the ground. My goal was to create a sculpture that radiates a warmth of feeling in combination with Classical Roman splendour.

The relief itself rests upon a solid background with a typical Roman motif design running along the outer edges of all four sides. The whole piece can be mounted on a wooden surface with mouldings so that it can be hung or mounted upon a wall or other vertical surface. The piece can be sold with or without the wooden mounting surface.

It measures 20 cm x 20 cm (8" x 8").


Prevalent in Europe during the 1600s and much of the 1700s, Baroque is a style of extravagant art and architecture characterized by its grandeur, richness, complexity of design, and emotional exuberance.

photo of high relief sculpture of Roman goddess Flora showing front of sculpture

high relief sculpture of roman goddess flora showing the left side    photo of high-relief sculpture of Roman goddess Flora showing right side view of sculpture

This high relief version of the Roman goddess Flora is almost bust-like; it is also my own creation. Note the complexity of the flowers that completely envelope her head. Also note how the face conveys an emotional expression, something between joy and contentment perhaps. This is quite exemplary of the grand Baroque style in sculpture. This is a very delightful. People have told me that this Flora sculpture radiates joy and serenity into any room where it is displayed.

This sculpture measures 7 x 5 inches (18 x 13 cm) and weighs approximately two pounds. It has a wooden and plaster core with composite veneer surface.

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