Art in Rome is a journey through the various artistic periods in the city: the churches, monuments, the different styles, major artists and the most interesting works of art are all here to see.
In Rome, art is everywhere: in the squares, venues and street of the city, you can breathe art, history and culture. The history of Roman art begins with the birth of the city, even though there were several important works found here at the time of the first settlements too. During the domain of the seven kings of Rome the first major art movements appeared and were largely influenced by the Hellenistic world. The art from this period is reflected in paintings and ancient mosaics found in the churches and ancient Bath houses in the center of Rome, but also in the urban architecture of the city that developed during this period exemplified by the ancient Roman houses.
Every historic period of Rome is reflected in the art and architecture. Republican art from the Roman Republic period, saw the beginning of the development of portraiture and painting, quite popular among the Consuls of the time. During Imperial Rome, we tend to speak of Augustan art. During this period in Rome, there were many portraits and sculptures made, such as marble busts of the emperors to enhance their reputation and power. This was also the period of the great architectural projects, like the Thermae of Traiano and the Roman Colosseum.
Byzantine art and architecture define the style that arose in Byzantium after the fourth century AD when the Roman Empire was divided into two parts: the Western Empire with its capital in Rome and the Eastern Empire with its capital in Byzantium. From the monumental art of the great emperors to Medieval art, focusing on portraiture and the architectural design of places of worship. During this period, Rome saw the construction of the early Christian and medieval churches. During the Middle Ages, people tend to speak of Romanesque art (from the tenth century and the end of the twelfth century) and Gothic art (half of the twelfth century), that in particular characterizes the late Middle Ages.
Renaissance art in Rome (from the last 400 years of the sixteenth century) was characterized by classical painting and sculpture representing again the themes of ancient Rome. The next period was marked by the Baroque Style, depicting mainly religious themes, which will lead to the creation of beautiful paintings and decorative elements. Neo-classical art (XVIII half century) was created as a response to the pomp of the Baroque period. Religious themes disappeared almost completely from paintings and was replaced with various historical events and the bourgeois as central themes.
Ancient Roman Mosaics: the technique, the colours and the history of the ancient art of mosaics in a short amount of time were everywhere in Rome and left a rich artistic legacy to the city.
Find out how and where the Romans lived in Ancient Rome, from elegant villas and to simple apartment type housing, to the beautiful country homes.
Visit the exhibitions in Rome is always a good alternative to occupy your free time in town. Check out the calendar events!
Looking for medieval churches in Rome? Here we’ve put together a guide to see the antique mosaics, religious artwork and typical architecture found in medieval Roman churches around the city.
From Realism to Symbolism up to Expressionism, see some works by some of the great artists such as Cezanne, Monet, Gauguin and many others who lived between 800 and 900.
Renaissance art in Rome: a guide to discover monuments, churches and palaces by great Renaissance artists.
The Baroque style in Rome: discover churches, palaces and squares in the Baroque style. Guides and curiosities for all art lovers