The Best Art From Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome, both the Republic and the Empire, was one of the greatest and most interesting periods of human history. For the better part of 2000 years, the Romans took countless inventions and innovations, refined them, and made them a part of their civilization. Much of what made Rome so special would become the backbone of the western world as we know it today, including the way they approached and created statues and other types of art.

While many feel that the Greeks were more creative in their art, there’s no denying the incredible diversity, complexity, and creativity of the art that found its genesis within ancient Rome.

The Villa Of Mysteries

It’s a common misconception that Roman artworks, including their buildings and frescos, were marble white. In reality, their cities were bursting with colour, and it’s only due to age and weathering that much of the colour was lost.

The Villa of Mysteries, which very nearly was lost forever during the infamous eruption of Mount Vesuvius, was luckily able to avoid most of the worst of the damage. Found in a room called the Initiation Chamber, it depicts a series of scenes, each overflowing with incredible detail and colour. It’s believed that it shows a young woman as she takes part in a marriage, including the rituals needed to take her into womanhood.

Countless Roman Mosaics

The Romans are well-known for creating mosaics throughout many regions of their empire. These mosaics were created for a number of reasons, but for the most part they depicted the everyday lives of the Romans, with an added artistic flair.

These elaborate and beautiful patterns were generally made using small pieces of ceramic tile, something that remains a popular pastime even today. They would put these mosaics everywhere, from countertops to floors to walls and more. Archaeologists are constantly finding new and fascinating Roman mosaics throughout many areas of modern-day Europe as well as northern Africa.

The House Of Livia

The House of Livia is another excellent and well-preserved piece of ancient art that has managed to survive the test of time. It’s one of the most beautiful of all the wall frescoes of the Roman Empire, dating back almost 2000 years.

It’s believed that the house once belonged to Livia, the wife of Augustus, an extremely powerful woman at the time who had great influence over the empire and was even recognised by the Roman Senate as a Mater Patriae, a title that few others would ever earn.

Arch of Constantine

The Arch of Constantine is a magnificent structure found in Rome that’s based on the famous emperor. It was created after the Roman emperor returned to the city after an incredibly successful military campaign that saw him claim victory at the Battle of Milvian Bridge – if only we could all have beautiful arches built for our successes, like getting a promotion or winning big at tennis betting.

Constantine decided that he needed to have an arch built to remind his people of his victory over a well-known and powerful victory.