What Are Some Facts About Roman Art?

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Early Roman art was not created by citizens because they were too busy being soldiers or tradesmen. Most of the Roman art during these early years was created by foreigners. The art in Rome was primarily copied from Etruscans before Romans developed their own cultural artistic style.

Beginnings

  • Roman art did not have an important role in society until around 500 B.C. because all the art was taken from foreign lands. Around 200 B.C., the Romans began pillaging countries, like Greece, where they would loot the towns and take sculptors home as slaves. Only after Rome converted over to a dictatorship in approximately 27 B.C. did Roman art develop its own style.

Sculptures

  • Original Roman sculptures attempted to portray a real person. Modeling for artists became a paid position. Roman sculptures typically paid more attention to each person's distinct face rather than trying to depict the ideal person like the Greek artists typically portrayed. Romans believed that having an accurate likeness of someone's face made that particular person's ghost happy, according to ThinkQuest. Most of the early sculptures were of one person or a mythological character such as a God. The sculptures were primarily used to decorate the interior of a home or garden.

Paintings

  • Paintings of ancient Roman art included colors that were made from homemade recipes looted from ancient Greece. Each pigment had a different combination of ingredients to make a specific color. Burnt apple seeds, ground human and animal bones, beetles and charcoal were some of the common ingredients found in Roman paint. The earliest paintings were found in 200 B.C., but paintings from the Roman Republic cannot be dated to precise time periods.

Architecture

  • Architecture is a form of Roman art that spread across the globe and into Europe, Asia Minor, Palestine and other cultures defeated by Rome. Originally, Roman architecture was confined to the city of Rome until the republic began spreading into other cultures. The invention of cement can be credited to Romans, as well as the refinement of mortars and bricks. These inventions attributed to the technologies created by ancient Rome, such as aqueducts, sewage installations, roads and bridges and other major structures, some of which are still standing today.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images
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