Etruscan art refer to the artistic works in Central Italy during Etruscan civilization (9th to 2nd BC). On the hand, Roman art refers to those crafted in Ancient Roman Empire. Even though the artists lived in different parts of the world at different times, their works have close similarities. They used their talents to express political, social and economic environment at the time. This paper compares and contrast two paintings from Etruscan and Roman arts.
The Roman painting depicts a slave market with the master holding cigar while waiting for the buyers. On the hand, the slaves are tied and look remorseful with clothes that hardly cover their body. In fact, the child slave do not have clothes at all. Additionally, they have price tags hanged on their chest. Another interesting thing is the slaves stand on raised platform perhaps to increase their visibility to potential buyers. This painting capture political system in the Roman Empire by depicting the nature of slave market. Slavery was both economic and political tool in the empire as they provided cheap labor for industries.
On the hand, the Etruscan painting has three youthful men playing music and dancing. The background has what looks a flowering plant, indicating this was an agricultural society. Each member of the band is holding a unique musical instrument with the middle having a flute. This painting captures the recreation which was central aspect of social practices in Central Italy.
The two paintings have several contrasting elements with the Roman art have smooth texture whereas the Etruscan adopting a rough one. Secondly, the Etruscan work has sharp dark edge which lacks in the Roman’s art. The Etruscan also incorporates several colors making it bright whereas the Roman has beige as theme color with few traces of black.
Fig. 1 Etruscan art.
Figure 2. Roman Art