Famous Roman Artists

Rome was always known for its art, and the streets of Rome were overflowing with art of all shapes, sizes, and varieties, making it a hub of both commerce and culture. Roman art truly thrived when Emperor Augusta took the throne, but it wasn’t the starting point of art for the people, especially when we consider how much the Romans loved indulging in the finer things in life.

With that in mind, these are some of the most famous artists that originated from Rome at one point or another, and were inspiration for much of today’s art, from the video games we play to the eSports betting Australia apps we enjoy.

Publius Aelius Forunatues

Publius Aelius Fortunates was a former slave that turned to painting and lived sometime during the second century. It was extremely rare for a slave to earn their freedom and walks the streets as a citizen, but it was even more rare for a slave to become an artist, especially a famous one. His life as a former slave actually turned out to be beneficial to the artist, as it made him famous throughout the empire, and he later found much success through his art. An epitaph dedicated to the artist can be found in the city of modern day Rome.


Iaia was a popular female painter that was known for her ivory engravings. Most of her paintings were centred around woman, with one of her most famous works being of an old woman and self-portrait. There has been much speculation surrounding her love of other woman, and it’s one of the reasons it’s believed that the artist never married. She was also considered to more talented than most of their male counterparts, and she also earned much more than them thanks to her combination of skill and speed.


Arellius was a painter of famous figures in Roman, and was most active in the first century before Augustus took over the empire. And although he was held in high esteem by many, much of his work also came under heavy criticism due to their subject matter. One of the criticisms that prevailed throughout much of his work was his incorporation of the faces of the women he loved the most into the faces of the goddesses he painted.

The Malibu Painter

The Malibu Painter, whose name still remains unknown, has a variety of works that can be dated between 75 and 100 AD. Much of his work derived its inspiration from mummy portraits that were circulating in the Roman province of Egypt, and his work became famous thanks to the shadows and highlighting he incorporated into the portraits that he sold.

Gaius Fabius Pictor

Gaius Fabius Pictor is an artist whose work has survived longer than almost all others, with his last painting surviving for 150 years before the next discovered piece. He’s believed to have worked around 305 BC, being born into the family of Fabii and receiving the title of Pictor after he became a painter. Despite his works, he was considered an embarrassment to his family for his role as an artist during the time.