Famous Ancient Roman Artist Facts
The names of Ancient Roman artists have been lost to history but the essence of their work - whether in sculptures, architecture, paintings or mosaic art lives
on today. The earliest known Roman art dates back to 509 BC, when the Roman Republic was established. What divided the two main periods of art in Rome were the
Republic period from 509-31 BC and the post-Republican period of the Roman Empire which followed in 27 BC. Pliny, who wrote one the largest manuscripts to survive the
Roman Empire, is known for his detailed documentation of ancient Roman arts. Thanks to him, facts and interesting information about Roman life have been preserved,
where they may have otherwise been lost to history. From portraits of kids to detailed sculptures of emperors and intricate architectural designs, much of Roman art
has been modeled from the Greeks. Read on to learn more about ancient Roman artists and why the Greeks were so influential to them.
Ancient Roman Sculpture Facts
- The Romans used art on their art. They learned and copied from the Greek, how to construct beautiful architecture and then create sculptures to decorate the
- Roman emperors often had statues of themselves made and placed throughout the city to show their power.
- The most common type of sculpture among the Romans was the bust of a person, often used to show off an ancestor in a Roman's home. Other types of sculptures included
full statues, and sculpture on coffins, called sarcophagi, which was usually reserved for the wealthy. Sculptures were found everywhere from private homes to public
- At one point full body sculptures became so popular that Roman sculptors would create numerous bodies without heads and when an order came in for a specific person,
all that needed to be added was the head.
Ancient Roman Painting Facts
- The Romans were particularly detailed portrait artists. Although they were inspired by the Greeks, they added their own dimension and originality to their work.
Popular subjects such as emperors, senators and generals were created with detailed physical traits such as double chins, imperfect noses and balding hair.
- Red, cream, and black were the most common colors used by the Romans.
- The use of both light and shade added depth to the Roman's paintings which included landscapes, and portraits.
- The famous Roman city of Pompeii was destroyed in A.D. 79 but many Roman paintings were preserved in rock and have given archeologists detailed insight into the Roman style of painting.
Romans often painted murals on their home walls to either make the space appear larger or as an attempt to bring the outside in when there may not
have been windows nearby. These murals were often painted fresco style, which is directly on wet plaster.
Ancient Roman Artist General Facts
- In addition to the Greek influence, the Romans also borrowed artistic styles from the Ancient Egyptians, Germans, and Celts.
- Roman Artists created very intricate and detailed mosaics that have outlasted many paintings. Made from colored tiles, these mosaics graced both the floors and walls of places of worship and many other structures.