Roman Art : Ancient Greece Essay

Roman Art : Ancient Greece Essay

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Roman artwork is extremely intricate and diverse, however, a lot of what is referred to as Roman art can better be described by the cultures it conquered. The ancient Greeks were the most influential of these cultures, from their temples and sculptures, to their reliefs and paintings. Greece was the first culture to create major programs for sculpture, painting, and architecture. Many of the first Roman artists were of Greek descent as their artwork reflects the Classical and Hellenistic periods of ancient Greece. A lot of what is considered to be Roman artwork is criticized as being mere copies of Greek artwork since they modeled their forms and styles after the Greeks, but other cultures influenced the Romans as well, mainly the Etruscans, however even they were heavily influenced by Greek artists.
While the Greeks were the most influential culture on Roman art it is necessary to mention Etruscan influence as well. The Etruscan’s did more than influence the artwork of the Romans, their contributions paved the way for the Roman way of life. Their sewers and drainage systems were used by the Romans and their love for gladiatorial games was copied by the Romans, in fact the first Roman city walls were built by the Etruscan’s. The Etruscans were the first major power in Italy before the Romans and were infatuated with Greek culture. Their take on Greek temples was an important factor in the creation of Roman temples.
Roman temples were modeled after both the Greek and Etruscan temples however the Romans did not copy any Greek buildings directly as they did with many other art forms. Interestingly enough, because the Etruscans were so closely connected to Greek culture their temples were heavily influenced by the Greeks and the Ro...


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...la built for the emperor Hadrian at Tivoli in 135 A.D. The mosaic shows a centaur fighting several different fierce animals who seemingly attacked and killed one of his companions. The centaur appears to be preparing to crush a tiger with a large rock while already having killed a lion, and in the left corner a leopard seems ready to pounce onto the centaur.
Most if not all Roman artwork was directly influenced by the Greek culture. Greece was conquered by the Romans however they contributed considerably to Roman life and by far were the most influential of all the conquered cultures, even compared to the Etruscans. Although the Etruscans contributed much to Roman society, the Greek love for symmetry, balance, and harmony inspired the Romans in unimaginable ways, and created a diverse and intricate array of Roman artwork that was mostly carried out by Greek artists.

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