10 Most Famous Ancient Roman Art Paintings

Roman art was one of the greatest gifts given to mankind by the mightiest civilization to have ever lived on this planet – The Roman Empire. The paintings of ancient Rome depicted a kaleidoscope of human emotions, intermingled with mythological portrayal of characters and animals.

A large number of paintings were popular during the ancient Roman time. The interiors of villas and houses of ancient Romans used to be decked up with colorful paintings, depicting usual day to day life or even romance between gods and goddesses. Lets take a look at the 10 most famous Roman paintings that are simply gorgeous.

1. The fresco of Theseus, Pompeii

Ancient Roman Art

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This gorgeous fresco was discovered from within a Basilica located in Herculaneum and dates back to the middle of the 18th century. The painting looks spectacular and shows a few children holding Theseus’s hand and congratulating him for killing the mythological beast-Minotaur. This is one of the few ancient paintings of Rome to have been restored in fine shape. Many copies have been made after the original fresco painting.

2. The Roman painting of Omphale

Ancient Roman Art

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Roman art showed illustrations depicting ordinary lives of its citizens, and also fabled stories. Many paintings were dedicated to women of Pompeii like this painting of the Queen of Lydia named Omphale. It was discovered from the house of Prince of Montenegro and looks very delicate. The costumes are shown elaborately and the hairdos look rather impressive. In this painting, Omphale is seen surrounded by two young women maids who are also dressed up in flowing robes. Most historians believe that the painting dates back to the period of Augustus Caesar.

3. The fresco of Wader bird, Pompeii

Ancient Roman Art

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In Pompeii there were many a lush gardens that were often visited by beautiful birds called Waders. This painting shows a wader bird roaming freely in one of the gardens built close to Sarno River. The fresco was painted in this garden by the river and looks astonishing with lush green surroundings, painted in serene colors of green, white and shades of yellow.

4. Fresco bird in a garden painting

Roman Paintings

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Roman artists were ardent lovers of nature, and birds were a common subject to be drawn using different stroke of colors. From waders, to nightingales, Romans had a vast choice. This particular painting of a bird depicts it sitting in a garden decked with lush greenery all around. It forms a part of the large collection of ancient paintings that date back to 2000 years and are housed in the National Museum of Rome. The collection of such paintings is called Pompeian Red.

Also Read: 13 Most Famous Paintings By Henri Matisse

5. The painting of two faces

Roman Paintings

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Ancient Roman art used lots of bright shades of which red was used often. This color was one of the widely loved colors among ancient Romans and most houses featured red painted walls depicting women, animals or erotic art. This painting shows the faces with well defined features. The lips are painted with reddish orange color and the eyes look expressive. The faces have headgears too painted on them. This painting is the original and has survived the test of time. It dates back to the Ist century AD.