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Pompeii in Color: The Life of Roman Painting

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The central figure of a nude man wears an ivy-leaf crown and holds a spear in his left hand. His wine cup has fallen to the ground, and he is supported under his right arm by an elderly bearded man. At the right a partially nude woman with a robe draped across her groin and legs leans against the man’s club with her left hand. She wears a lion-skin headdress. Several standing figures look on in the background. Three small childlike figures of erotes are also at play. One blows pipes into the younger man’s left ear; one peeps out from under the robes of the elderly man; and a third attempts to set the wine cup aright.

Pompeii in Color: The Life of Roman Painting presents frescoes from the National Archaeological Museum of Naples. All originally from Roman homes, the subjects of these works range from mythological scenes to landscapes, portraits, still lifes, and more, each rich with meaning for homeowners and their guests.

This digital complement to the exhibition at NYU’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World presents an opportunity to learn about ancient painting, the tastes and values of the Romans who lived with these works, and the techniques used by the artists who created them.

These remarkably well-preserved frescoes invite us to see beyond the ashes of the tragic city, and instead experience the vibrant world of the ancient Roman home as the Pompeians themselves knew it.
 
Presented by the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World and organized with the National Archaeological Museum of Naples and MondoMostre.



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