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Pompeian Wall Painting

Pompeian Wall Painting

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Pompeian Wall Painting

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  1. Pompeian Wall Painting

  2. First Style The First Pompeian style, or “Structural Style" c.150 – 50 BCE, was a common form of house décor and was quite simple. It consisted mainly of imitations of colored stone and marble veneering done in stucco and paint. A good example of this First Pompeian style is found at the House of Sallust in Pompeii. While much of the paint has faded, the stucco “blocks” can be seen and one gets a real feeling of what the overall effect might have been like.

  3. Another example of this early type is found at the Samnite house, c.100 BCE, at Herculaneum. The inner peristyle at the Getty Museum, which was inspired by the Villa de Papyri, outside of Pompeii, also is done in the 1st Pompeian style. Typically, the wall was divided into three horizontal, painted zones crowned with a stucco cornice of dentils based upon the Doric architectural order.

  4. A recreation of the First Style from the Getty Museum.

  5. Another view of the Samnite House.

  6. Modern drawing of the First Style

  7. The Second Style The aim of the Second Style or “Architectural Style” painters was to dissolve the confining walls of a room and replace them with the illusion of a three-dimensional world constructed in the artist's imagination. They sought to create the illusion of space by using the technical skill of “perspective.”

  8. What is meant by perspective? The most characteristic feature of perspective drawing is that objects are drawn smaller as their distance from the observer increases. In order to accomplish this, the artist establishes a “vanishing point.” This is a point in a perspective drawing to which parallel lines appear to converge. The complexity of perspective is determined by the number of “vanishing points” employed by the artist. In the first example, there is one vanishing point. In the second, there are two sets of apparently convergent lines. In the final example, three sets of parallel lines move away from the view.

  9. A Second Style Vista Perspective was used by painters to transform the usually windowless walls of Roman houses into "picture window" vistas that expanded the apparent space of the rooms.

  10. A Second Style Vista One of the chief features of the Second Style is the introduction of painted architectural features, for example here there are columns, entablature, and pediment. This particular example also incorporates elements of the First Style. We can see the molded “blocks” in red above and maroon below.

  11. A Second Style Vista

  12. A Second Style Vista

  13. A Second Style Vista In the mature phase of the Second Style, depictions of gardens became popular.

  14. In the final phase of the Second Style the human figure was introduced.

  15. This famous Second Style painting depicts the initiation of a young woman into the mystery religion of Dionysus, prior to her marriage. It is located in Pompeii in the so-called Villa of the Mysteries

  16. The action of the rite begins with the initiate crossing the threshold as the preparations begin. Her wrist is cocked against her hip. A priestess holds a scroll. The initiate, now more lightly clad, carries an offering tray of sacramental cake. She wears a myrtle wreath. In her right hand she holds a laurel sprig.

  17. A priestess wearing a head covering and a wreath of myrtle removes a covering from a ceremonial basket held by a female attendant. A second female attendant wearing a wreath, pours purifying water into a basin in which the priestess is about to dip a sprig of laurel. Mythological characters and music are introduced into the narrative. An aging Silenus plays a ten-string lyre resting on a column.

  18. A young male satyr plays pan pipes, while a nymph feeds a goat. The initiate is being made aware of her close connection with nature. In many rituals, this regression, assisted by music, is requisite to achieving a psychological state necessary for rebirth and regeneration. The startled initiate has a glimpse of what awaits her in the inner sanctuary. This is her last chance to save herself by running away. Perhaps some initiates did just that.

  19. The Silenus looks disapprovingly at the startled initiate as he holds up an empty silver bowl. A young satyr gazes into the bowl, as if mesmerized. Another young satyr holds a theatrical mask resembling the Silenus. This scene is at the center of both the room and the ritual. Dionysus sprawls in the arms of his mother Semele. Semele sits on a throne with Dionysus leaning on her. Semele, the great mother is supreme.

  20. A winged divinity, Aidos, who represents modesty, is prepared to strike with a whip. The initiate is consoled by an older woman. To the right a second woman clashes cymbals celebrating the end of the rite and another woman is about to give to the initiate a thyrsus, symbolizing the successful completion of the rite.

  21. This scene represents an event after the completion of the ritual drama. The transformed initiate prepares, with the help of an attendant, for marriage. An Eros figure holds a mirror which reflects the image of the bride. Both the bride and her reflected image stare out at us, the observers.

  22. Eros, a son of Chronos or Saturn, god of Love, is the final figure in the narrative. The initiate now is depicted as a calm and mature married woman.

  23. The Third Style The Third Style (ca. 20 B.C.– 20 A.D.), which coincided with the reign of the first emperor, Augustus, rejected the elaborate experiments in perspective, color, and theme of the Second Style. Wall paintings from this period typically comprise a single monochrome background—such as red, black, or white—with delicate architectural details. Small figural and landscape scenes appear in the center of the wall as a part of, not the dominant element in, the overall decorative scheme.

  24. Detail from a Third Style painting, taken from an imperial residence.

  25. . Detail from a Third Style painting, taken from an imperial residence.

  26. . Detail from a Third Style painting, taken from an imperial residence.

  27. Third Style

  28. Third Style

  29. The Fourth Style The Fourth Style, also called the "Intricate Style," confines full three-dimensional illusion to "framed images," which are placed like pictures in an exhibition.  The images themselves do not relate to one another nor do they present a narrative, as in the Second Style.

  30. A typical example of the fourth style, which creates a gallery effect.

  31. Detail from a Fourth Style “Gallery”

  32. Fourth Style from the Domus Aureus, or Golden House, of Nero

  33. Fourth Style with large central painting, depicting Dionysus’ revelation that he is a god.

  34. Detail of the theophany of Dionysus

  35. Reconstruction of the exterior of a typical Roman domus

  36. Interior reconstruction. Light only enters through the compluvium. The lack of natural light through out the house and the relatively small size of the various rooms are contributing factors to the Roman taste for bright colors and trompe l’oeil effects.

  37. Identify the style of this wall painting:

  38. Identify the style of this wall painting:

  39. Identify the style of this fragment of a wall painting:

  40. Identify the style of this wall painting: