Pro Romanis Art

Retiarius: Before the Fight

Retiarius: Before the Fight




17″ W x 11″ H (43.18 cm W x 27.94 cm H)
Price: $35 US + shipping and handling
Order Number: 00900xT

24″ W x 17″ H (27.94 cm W x 43.18 cm H)
Price: $65 US + shipping and handling
Order Number: 00900xL

36″ W x 24″ H (91.44 cm W x 60.96 cm H)
Price: $95 US + shipping and handling
Order Number: 00900xXL

44″ W x 32″ H (111.76 cm W x 81.28 cm H)
Price: $125 US + shipping and handling
Order Number: 00900xXXL

Paper: High quality Cannon Fine Art paper. Shipped in a sturdy mailing tube to ensure maximum protection.

Usually ships within 4-to-5 days.
Ships from and sold by Pro Romanis Arts.

Original artwork high-resolution scan printed on high quality large format printer (at least 300 dpi) on high quality paper.


This pen and ink drawing shows a gladiator, a Retiarius, just before the contest. This is the moment immediately after the opening procession (pompa) and before the pairing off for the fight. This gladiator is well known, a favorite of the Vestal Virgins seated behind him to his right. One of the Vestals has thrown a laurel wreath as a mark of her favor. Another Vestal is also holding a wreath, which she will presumably launch shortly. All of the Vestals as well as the people in the next tier are swept up in the excitement.

Seating in the Roman amphitheater was rigidly hierarchical. The upper classes sat nearest the action, in the lower seats. Vestal Virgins, along with females of the Imperial family, were the only women permitted in the lower tiers. All other women were relegated to the upper tiers, along with the slaves. The games were mostly a male event. They were supposed to teach Romans about bravery and dignity in facing and meeting death.

Retiarius: Before the Fight

This particular Retiarius is armed in the usual manner. He has a trident and dagger along with a weighted net for casting at his opponent and entangling him. He has a grieve on his left leg and his left arm is protected as is his left shoulder. This Retiarius looks like a Gaul. He is also fairly large and muscular for his specialty. This would make him especially dangerous because he may be powerful as well as quick. Usually a Retiarius relies for success upon his coordination and speed. His trident gives him reach while keeping him out of harm’s way.

About The Artist, Zygmunt Michalski

Zygmunt (Zyggi) Michalski began drawing from a very young age. He majored in art at Jagiellonian University, one of the oldest universities in the world (established in 1364). There, he studied painting and drawing with Krystyna Wróblewska—member of the Polish Academy of Sciences—a well-regarded painter, graphic artist and book designer. Her work and career have appeared in academic books such as Archiwum Sztuki Polskiej XX Wieku and Tom 2 Twórczość Krystyny Wróblewskiej. She herself studied under the famous painter Ludomir Slendzinski. Michalski also studied under Professor Wiktor Zin at the Architecture Department, University of Krakow. Dr. Zin was a widely published author and a designer of many churches internationally and in Poland. He was a well-known TV personality.

Michalski worked with Zin at the Polish Studios for the Conservation of Cultural Property. Michalski is equally adept at pen and ink drawing and oil painting. He can paint in various styles and is particularly interested in historical and surrealistic subject matter. He is also very strong in portraiture. Zygmunt Michalski has executed more than 25 pieces of art for Pro Romanis. You can see some of Zyggi’s other work at