Roman Art and Architecture


The term “Roman Art” covers a span of over 1,000 years, from roughly 743 B.C. until 1453, though it generally refers to art created during the Roman Empire, from 27 B.C. to about A.D. 476. During its height—around the year A.D. 117—the empire was the most powerful civilization in the world, governing over 20 percent of the world’s population. Roman Art borrowed heavily from Greek and Etruscan examples and, while in Greece artists were revered, in Rome they were underappreciated as craftsmen. Roman Art came in various forms—paintings and murals (the most famous being those found at Pompeii), as well as mosaics, but they are noted most for sculpture and architecture. Roman sculptures of politicians and aristocrats are some of the finest remnants of the ancient world, as are architectural icons such as the Pantheon and the Colosseum.