Roman Art Essay

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Classical Roman Art Vs Early Christian
There are many similarities and differences between Classical Roman and Early Christian Art. What particularly stands out to me is how much these two cultures have in common when it comes to their art and architecture. Romans were geniuses when it came to engineering and we can see that in the monuments they left behind. Many early Christian architectural styles and ideas were adopted straight from the Romans. Their communities became organized geographically much like those of the Roman provincial governments. Christian cultural styles derived straight from Roman visual traditions. Early Christian art features the adoption of Roman art forms for Christian purposes. Their art also featured recycling of images and sculpture to be used as early representations of Christ.
Roman art was also deeply influenced by the art of the Hellenistic world, which had spread to southern Italy and Sicily through the Greek colonies there. The Etruscans and Babylonians can also be seen as inspirations. “With the founding of the Republic, the term Roman art was virtually synonymous with the art of the city of Rome, which still bore the stamp of its Etruscan art” (Honour and Fleming,1999). During the last two centuries, notably that of Greece, Roman art shook off its dependence on Etruscan art. In the last two centuries before Christ, a distinctive Roman manner of building, sculpting, and painting emerged. Indeed, because of the extraordinary geographical extent of the Roman Empire and the number of diverse populations encompassed within its boundaries, “the art and architecture of the Romans was always eclectic and is characterized by varying styles attributable to differing regional tastes and the div...

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...ic one was viewed as a crossroads, the art of late antiquity is no less Roman. As our text states, “The Jewish and Christian sculptures, paintings and buildings, are Roman in style and technique, but they differ in subject and function from a contemporaneous Roman secular and religious art and architecture” (Kleiner Fred S, pg 209). The use of images from Classical Rome will be a continuing issue in the history of Christianity.
We can see that the Romans as well as the Early Christians had many things in common but for sure we know the impressions of classical Roman features in early Christian art. Indeed, one can see how Roman Art and Greek Art have influenced naturalism on sculptures from Early Christian Art. We also see similar compositions and influences on the tombs and churches, the ideal design and styles were directly adopted from the Roman Art style.
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