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We learned that Roman art had major influences from their nearby Etruscan predecessors and from their Greek neighbors across the sea.
The artist in Roman culture was not venerated like we saw with Ancient Greece. The artist, though incredibly skilled, was of the common working class.
The Romans brough about and perfected the practice of “portraiture” in their scultpture. Unlike the Greeks, Romans preferred to have themselves represented “warts and all” in their marble likenesses. This is a practice known as “verism.”
Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. Nearby villages Pompeii and Hurculaneum were buried under dense ash. Though unfortunate, this act managed to preserve some of the only examples of Ancient Roman wall painting. We studied some of the earliest known “still life” paintings. Elsewhere in Rome we can look to their amazingly detailed mosaics.
Roman emporers were determined to leave monumental evidence of their great achievements. We studied Trajan’s Column and several Triumphal Arches. We also discovered their inventive use of the “rotunda” as an architectural form.
Ancient Romans were progressive, industrious, and powerful. We still use and build upon their advancements in government, civil engineering, building materials and military systems. Their art was as practical as it was beautiful and always leaves us with an understanding of their constant drive to move forward.