Roman Art and Architecture in Pompeii

Roman art exists in many different forms from many different eras. Every individual piece of artwork has its own meaning and documentation of history, coming from a specific place at a very specific time. This is true while looking at the art archived from Pompeii, or even of the Etruscan influences.

The architecture uncovered at Pompeii is unmatched anywhere else at any point in history. A prime example of this is shown through the House of Vettii. This is one of the best- preserved houses found at the tragic site of Pompeii.

There is an opening in the roof – a common design feature in the Rome style houses. As we know now, only someone very wealthy, or even a former slave could have owned this kind of house.

In the Early Empire of Rome, and during the reign of Augustus, there was a bust made to commemorate the emperor’s wife: Livia. However, this marble bust was not created in Rome, but rather in Egypt.

It inspired the model for creating future goddesses and women of immaculate beauty. Livia and Augustus were the iconic couple for Rome: both were attractive and lead a time of peace throughout the Empire. It is only natural to see the statues and busts representing them in a very ethereal way.

During the High Empire period, there were two architectural units made and named to honor Trajan: the Column of Trajan and the Markets of Trajan. The Column of Trajan encloses the chamber that serves as Trajan’s tomb.

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It is most notable, however, for its large frieze depicting the defeat of the Dacians. The Markets of Trajan were created to house both shops and administrative offices. Concrete made it possible to make the market multileveled. The look of the shopping area greatly resembles that of a modern-day shopping mall.

Roman architecture was bigger in both scale and organization than anything else before its time. The best preserved Roman building is the temple The Pantheon. Different aspects of this impressive temple come from all over the world, such as the twelve meter columns from Egypt, and the marble lintels from Greece. Another prime example of the wonders of Roman architecture is none other than the Colosseum.

This is a magnificent example of what the Romans were capable of doing with their architecture and engineering skills. To build the Colosseum, there is evidence in wall reliefs of the Romans using a contraption like a crane, known as the A-Frame. They figured out incredibly smart methods in order to lift the solid blocks they needed for construction. The Romans were geniuses when it came to architecture, using devices and procedures that still might be seen today in the twenty first century.

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Roman Art and Architecture in Pompeii. (2023, Mar 15). Retrieved from

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