Being one of the main exponents of imperial expansion, Roman art unified its functional character with the propaganda aspect throughout the Mediterranean territory, thus, to a greater or lesser extent, marked each of its provinces.
How Roman Art Developed
The first manifestations of Roman art developed under the influence of Etruscan culture, later, Greek artists worked for the Romans, powerfully determining many of the expressions of this civilization, however, this influence was increased in the second century BC with the Greece occupation.
But it was not until the third century BC, with the unification of the Empire. Hence, the art was deployed with enough uniformity and autonomy throughout the territory, which extended until its fall in the year 476.
Despite the homogeneity of Roman art in most provinces, the breadth of the Empire, lent itself so that the various artistic forms evolved differently in each region, printing a variety that was crucial in its subsequent influence on the art of Renaissance and the Middle Ages.
What Were The Characteristics?
If Greek art focused on beauty, the exaltation of the gods and the search for perfection in his works, mostly mythological, Roman art, was unmarked from this trend, seeking the exaltation of man, through the representation of busts, sculptures and portraits of emperors or prominent people, in addition, through reliefs in triumphal arches or columns, which narrated battles or historical moments.
Additionally, the practical and utilitarian character developed with architecture, building works with a primarily civil functionality. Without leaving aside, its monumentality as a symbol of power and superiority to other peoples.
Also, the art of Roman culture, used very simple materials such as porous stone, basalt, volcanic rock or baked clay , and other more ostentatious such as marble or bronze, in addition, developed the technique of concrete, which together with the innovations of the arch and the vault they revolutionized the construction techniques.
Main Manifestations Of Roman Art
Taking into account the most representative expressions of Roman art, they can be broken down in order of importance, as follows:
- Architecture: This is the most important manifestation of the Romans. They fulfilled a double task, providing citizens with a good quality of life, improving safety, health and entertainment conditions. On the other hand, they seek to represent the majesty and power of the Empire, through colossal clearly visible works.
- Sculpture: with a combination of Etruscan realism and Greek idealism, this Roman art basically focused on portraits of important characters, which pursued the goal of exalting the power and sovereignty of their rulers.
- Mosaic: It is a true puzzle of calcareous stones and color glass. It was another outstanding Roman artistic expression that lined the walls or floors of homes, villas, and temples. Additionally, it’s also an indicator of the social status of the family that exhibited it.
- Painting: although they were generally imitations of the Greeks, a distinctive element of Roman painting was the technique of stains of tempera color, with an impressionist style and a predominantly realistic theme, capturing landscapes, people or war scenes, as a coating on the walls of different buildings.