How Has Ancient Roman Art Influenced the Modern World?

Ancient Roman artworks have influenced pieces throughout the modern world on a spectrum of mediums ranging from the literary to the architectural. Roman pieces often reflected Greek classical tradition that placed emphasis on representing natural form through realistic portraiture of mythological figures.

Classical elements of ancient Roman art emerged once more in 18th century Europe during the neoclassical revival movement that sought to reclaim antiquated ideals of simplicity, harmony and proportion. Recent discoveries of ancient pieces influenced contemporary artists to restore past aesthetics through their own creative expression, which has since permeated in works identifiable throughout the modern world.

The Statue of Liberty exemplifies a universally recognizable sculpture designed in the neoclassical tradition and recalls the Colossus of Rhodes, which was built on a comparably monumental scale as a physical personification of national glory. Similar examples of American landmarks modeled under classical influence include the U.S. Capitol Building, with the features of its iconic dome drawn from the rotunda of the Roman Pantheon.

Ancient Rome’s regional expansion influenced artistic diversity throughout the surrounding Mediterranean territory and into the New World upon European discovery. What is left of its empire survives to influence the modern world in the form of art itself, as freedom of creative expression has served to sustain the rights of republics both past and present.