Greek & Roman Art

By: Annika Azarcon

Greek Art

Greeks did many types of art. Greeks decorated almost every part of their lives. Many things in Greek life were made with beauty in mind. Things like paintings, metal work, mosaics, sculptures, pottery and more. The ancient Greeks worshipped many gods, the Greeks made many nude sculptures of their gods. They made their sculptures nude because they believed that gods were people but more beautiful than human beings.

Roman Art

From early times Ancient Romans learned how to improve their art by the Ancient Greeks, but when Greece was conquered by Rome, Greek art became interconnected. While Greek art was an expression of great ideas and emotions, Roman art was more on fashion and decoration.
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Types Of Greek Art

Paintings: We only learned about paintings through ancient Greek stories. These stories were written by authors like Pliny and Pausanias. You can also see paintings on the walls of Ancient Greece. Not a lot of these paintings remain because they were destroyed by wars, earthquakes, weather and time.


Vases: Beautiful decorations of vases give us an idea of Greek paintings. They were decorated with brown paint so-called geometrical style. Sticklike figures of men and animals were fitted in the overall pattern. In the next period the figures of men and gods began to be more realistic and were painted in black on red clay. In the 6th century BC the figures of men were left red and a black background was painted in.


Metal Work: Greeks were really good at working with metal and they worked with many types of metals such as bronze, copper, tin, iron and more. They also worked with precious metals like gold and silver.

Sculptures: Before the sculptures were stiff and flat but eventually they learned how to work out the proportion by studying human bodies. Their models were nude athletes while practicing their sports or nude gods or goddesses. Examples of sculptures: The ‘Venus de Milo’ and ‘Statue of Nike’.


Mosaics: A mosaic is a picture made up of small pieces of glass, pottery or small tiles. Lots of small pieces of coloured tiles are put together to make a picture. Greeks decorated their house with mosaics on walls and floors to make it look like their house was bigger than it really was.

Types Of Roman Art

Paintings: The history of Roman painting is a history of wall paintings on plaster. Although ancient references inform us of Roman paintings on wood and other materials, works that have survived are on a different form that covered the interiors of private homes in Roman cities and in the countryside.


Mosaics: The mosaics the ancient Romans created were very complicated and detailed, and were found in places of worship and other important buildings. The mosaics were also used on flooring and they could just be a simple geometric pattern or a historical or mystical scene.


Statues: When Greeks built statues of their gods, they would design them to make them look perfect and like an unearthly human being. They would not have any flaws. The Romans would make sure to include every detail, like the moles on their faces.


Tombstones: Since Ancient Rome did a lot of work with sculptures, on the tombs they would sculpt a portrait of a deceased person or do a bust, which is a sculpture of just the head.