Take Home Essay
Art in Ancient Society
The Roman empire was one of the largest and greatest empires in history. Art of the Roman period reflects this power and the extent of their influence. The Romans are well known for their ability to adapt and build upon the ideas of the civilizations they conquered. Roman art contains many aspects from the art of the early Etruscan culture as well as that of the Greeks. The Romans borrowed many artistic elements from the Greeks and improved upon them. For example, they used many ideas from the simple grandeur of Classical and Hellenistic Greek art. In addition to the influence of Greek art and culture, Roman ...view middle of the document...
As stated previously, many Roman sculptures were heavily influenced by those of the Greeks. In fact many of the Roman sculptures that exist today are replicas of Greek ones. Romans added onto the Greek statues by making them seem stronger and glorying them. Sculpture was done in either bronze or marble. Most surviving Roman sculpture are depictions of Roman’s emperors. A famous example of Roman sculpture is Michelangelo’s David. The architecture of the Roman Empire is one of the longest lasting pieces of the ancient world. Many of the structures still standing are fragments and ruins, but they still represent the legacy of the great empire that created them. The Romans utilized their well developed technology and innovations in creating their structures. They developed a type of cement that allowed them to build larger and taller buildings than could the people that came before them. Roman roads, aqueducts and temples were found all across the empire and vast structures like Hadrian’s Wall, the Colosseum and Pantheon still remain today.
Much of Islamic art is religions. Not all of it can defined to this one category, however. Islamic art includes the art of the rich and varied cultures of the many Islamic societies that existed in the past. Islamic art was developed from many outside influences. These include Roman, early Christians, and Byzantine influences. Sassanid art of pre-Islamic Persia was also of paramount importance in Islamic art. There are repeating elements in Islamic art. One of these is the arabesque, a religious symbol. The arabesque is used to symbolize the indivisible and infinite nature of God. Some Muslims discouraged art that depicted the human form. Generally, Islamic art focuses on patterns and calligraphy as opposed to figures. This is because many Muslims of the time believed that depictions of the human form were a type of idolatry and therefore a sin against God and the Qur’an. Human forms do exist in many types of Islamic art despite this. Calligraphic design, painting, rugs and carpets, and ceramics are among that most important art forms of Islam.
Calligraphic design is omnipresent in many forms of Islamic art. Religious sayings and Qur’an verses were included on secular objects, coins, tiles, metalwork, and on buildings. Other types of inscriptions used were verses of poetry and inscriptions recording ones ownership or donation of property. The main languages used for calligraphy were Arabic, for verses from the Qur’an, Persian, and Turkish. Calligraphy was one of the most prized art forms; calligraphy artists made more money than did artists of any other form. Another important art form valued by Islamic peoples is painting. It was often seen in wall paintings and books. Classics of Persian poetry were often illustrated by the Muslims, as well as autobiographies of emperors and conquests. Profile portraits were finely and realistically drawn, as well as paintings portraying scenes like picnics,...