Roman art seems to be tucked around every corner in this ancient city that has meant so much to the development of civil society in the modern world. Ancient Roman art served manifold purposes and came in a variety of different mediums. Whereas the ancient Greek art that the Romans borrowed from so heavily was oftentimes most celebrated for its aesthetic qualities and the talents of its artist, Roman art served a much more utilitarian purpose in the context of the ancient world. Whereas it is quite likely that the best works of Greece might have been celebrated and exhibited in a public place, the finest Roman art would have been used to emphasize the power and standing of an individual or a family in the context of the greater society, most likely in someone’s personal residence in Rome.
Ancient Roman Art
Rome built itself up by assimilating various peoples from all over the globe into the Empire and its population was reflective of the first multicultural system governing a multitude of ethnicities. For this reason and more, Roman art cannot be said to have as unified a strain running throughout it, as does Greek art. The tendency of ancient Roman art to copy the Greeks is sufficient evidence to show us in what high regard the Romans held the Greek artistic ability. We see a wide variety of mediums being produced by the ancient Romans throughout the 900 plus reign of the Empire of Rome. Roman mosaics, architecture, paintings, metal work, engravings, and portraiture were all vital mediums in the development of Roman art over the centuries.
There are a number of amazing art museums in Rome where you will find on display some of the most impressive works held in a collection anywhere in the world. Over the course of Roman history, individuals like Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Caravaggio, Bernini, and so many more were all making their art in the holy city of Rome. The Roman mosaics, paintings, and sculptures on display at places like the Galleria Borghese, the Barberini Palace and National Gallery of Antique Art, and the Modern National Gallery all are prime locations to view classic examples of Roman art. Virtually all of the most celebrated names in the history of modern and classical art are celebrated and exhibited within the best art museums in Rome. Bernini's sculptures are located all around Rome from popular fountains to the Vatican to pieces in basilicas.
If you are particularly interested in Roman mosaics, you will find a number of unbelievably impressive locations that house ancient Roman mosaics that have been added to the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites. Places like Hadrian’s Villa and St Peter's Basilica are prime locations to discover some of the most beautiful mosaics ever created in the history of Roman art.
If you are traveling to the city of Rome you will find that there are seemingly limitless options when it comes to art museums to visit. You could spend weeks in the Vatican Museums on their own, and besides the couple of museums mentioned above, you should also consider stopping by Gallery of the National Academy of St. Luca, the Corsini Gallery, the Musei Capitolini, to name just a couple more. Enjoying the ancient Roman art is one of the most exciting aspects of any trip to the capital city of Italy.