Art that lasts for over a million years

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Arch of Constantine, 315: Hadrian lion-hunting (left) and sacrificing (right), above a section of the Constantinian frieze, showing the contrast of styles.

March 11, On This Day

Rome: The artistic ancient civilization

It’s an unexpected milestone, but utterly worth noting. On March 11, 1986, it was officially 1 million days since the foundation of Rome on April 21st, 753 BC.

The art of Ancient Rome includes architecture, painting, sculpture, mosaic work, luxury objects in metal-work, gem engraving, ivory carvings, and glass.


Augustus of Prima Porta, statue of the emperor Augustus, 1st century AD, Vatican Museums

Very little painting from the era remains, compared to the vast surviving stores of sculptures. Ancient Roman pottery is also still unearthed, as are the coins.

Paintings from this time were a stylistic eclecticism of Greek, Etruscan, native Italic, and even Egyptian art.

Fayum mummy portrait of a woman from Roman Egypt with a ringlet hairstyle. Royal Museum of Scotland.