Visitors to the former residences of wealthy ancient Romans cannot help but be astonished by their grand architecture and enchanting wall paintings, still vibrant with cinnabar reds, golden yellows, and deep greens. The beauty and intricacy of these ancient frescoes were previously showcased in the sumptuous volume Domus: Wall Painting in the Roman House, published by the J. Paul Getty Museum in 2004 and now available in this abridged and affordable edition.
Following an introduction to the Roman domestic ideal that inspired these wall decorations and a discussion of the evolution in painting styles, the author conducts a tour of twenty-eight houses in Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis, and the city of Rome. Here are painted scenesrich with fabulous details of illusionistic architecture, lush gardens, exotic animals, and erotic adventuresimpressive in their display of technical mastery and enduring in their visual impact.
Umberto Pappalardo is director of excavations at Herculaneum, inspector for excavations at Pompeii, and professor of geoarchaeology at the Istituto Universitario Suor Orsola Benincasa in Naples.
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