While the early ancient Roman art was influenced by Etruscan styles, eventually the Romans managed to create their own style. That does not mean that the ancient art lacks in influences. On the contrary, Etruscan, Greek, native Italic and even Egyptian styles have impacted the development of ancient art in the great Roman empire. Due to the fact that art has so many segments it is hard to name just one art piece as the most famous piece of ancient Roman art.
Architecture was an essential segment that defined roman art and while various buildings are world known I think its safe to assume that the most famous piece of ancient Roman art is the Colosseum. This imposing construction was originally named the Flavian Amphitheater this magnificent building was created in 80 A.D. Its main use was for hosting fighting competition usually involving gladiator slaves and/or animals. Nowadays it is the most important touristic attraction in Italy and is sometimes used for holding concerts. Therefore although the years have passed and only parts of the amphitheater survived, it’s main purpose of being an entertaining space was not lost.
As sculpture is also an important domain of art it is essential to understand the importance played by sculptures in the beautifying process of the Roman empire. Ancient Roman sculpture often portrayed graceful figures of goddesses as well as imposing figures of gods and fearless leaders. Although few sculptured pieces managed to pass the test of time we still have some remains of the grandeur of this ancient art. The Colossal Statue of Constantine I was about 30 feet high. Although only a few pieces remain this statue is probably the most famous piece of ancient Roman art from the sculpture segment.
Last but not least paintings and frescos were also influential segments of ancient Roman art. Colored, with vibrant pigments, the paintings from Villa of Mysteries in Pompeii have been preserved in an impeccable manner. These are some of the few ancient Rome paintings that have survived and they describe an initiation rite.
Although all shapes of art have their beauty, one might say that the most complex form of art is architecture as it combines multiple art segments. Although the Colosseum itself is a marvelous construction one can’t help but notice that this building wouldn’t have been so imposing had it not been decorated with so many statues. Taking into account its worldwide popularity from the ancient times until the present, the Colosseum is definitely the most famous piece of ancient Roman art.