The Roman civilisation, which had its epicenter in Rome, dominated much of Europe for more than a millennium. During this period, the arts flourished and were frequently used by the wealthy and powerful to commemorate their accomplishments and history.
Born from Greek Art
The Greek arts and culture were revered by the Romans. They invited numerous Greek artists to Rome after conquering Greece so they could create sculptures for them in the Greek style. Ancient Greek and Roman art were greatly influenced by one another.
The Romans were most influenced by Greek art, but they also encountered and conquered numerous cultures across their vast empire. These included the Germans, the Celts, the German art, and the Ancient Egyptians.
Roman daily life included an essential role for sculpture. Full statues, busts (sculptures of just a person’s head), reliefs (sculptures that were part of a wall), and sarcophagi (sculptures on tombs) were all common types of sculpture. The Ancient Romans adorned a variety of locations with sculptures, including public structures, open spaces, as well as private residences and gardens.
Greek sculpture had a big impact on Roman sculpture. In actuality, a large number of Roman sculptures were just replicas of Greek works. Rich Romans used statues to decorate their expansive dwellings. These statues frequently depicted them or their ancestors. Gods and goddesses, philosophers, well-known sportsmen, and accomplished generals were some of the other often sculpted figures.
A marble statue of Augustus, the first Roman Emperor, is displayed above. He is depicted in this image carrying out his duties as Pontifex Maximus while donning a classic Roman toga.
The Roman Bust
The bust was among the most widely used forms of sculpture in ancient Rome. This sculpture only depicts the head. Rich Romans would display busts of their ancestors in their homes’ atriums. They used this as a means of showcasing their ancestry.
The rich Romans’ dwellings frequently had paintings on the walls. These images were frescos that were painted directly on the walls. The majority of these paintings have been lost throughout time, but some of them were saved when Pompeii was submerged by a volcano eruption.
The Romans also created mosaics, which are pictures formed from colorful tiles. More so than paintings, mosaics have been able to withstand the test of time. On occasion, the tiles would be placed directly on the mosaic. Other times, the mosaic would be assembled after the tiles and base were created in a workshop. Mosaics could be used as ground décor or as works of art on a wall.
The Renaissance artists sought inspiration from the sculptures, buildings, and works of art of Ancient Rome and Greece after the Middle Ages. For a very long time, Roman classical art had a big impact on art.
Interesting Information about Roman Art
It became so common for artists to mass-produce human bodies without heads as sculptures. The head would then be carved and added to the sculpture when a request for a specific person came in.
Numerous sculptures honoring Roman emperors were frequently erected all across the city. They did this to remind the populace who was in charge and to celebrate their wins.
Some Greek statues are the only ones that have survived thanks to Roman replicas.
Roman royalty paid for elaborate engravings to be placed on their stone coffins.