6 Habitats at Herculaneum and Early Roman Interior Decoration

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By Diana E E Kleiner | Roman Architecture Lecture 6 of 24

Lecture Description

Professor Kleiner discusses domestic architecture at Herculaneum and the First and Second Styles of Roman wall painting. The lecture begins with an introduction to the history of the city of Herculaneum and what befell some of its inhabitants when they tried to escape obliteration by Vesuvius. She features three houses in Herculaneum, two of which--the Houses of the Mosaic Atrium and the Stags--are among the best examples of a residential style popular in Campania between A.D. 62 and 79. Professor Kleiner then turns to the First or Masonry Style of Roman wall painting, which seeks to replicate the built architecture of Hellenistic kings and other elite patrons by using stucco and paint to imitate a real wall faced with marble. She follows with Second Style Roman wall painting, which uses only paint to open up the wall illusionistically onto vistas and prospects of sacred shrines, city scenes, and landscapes. The lecture concludes with a discussion of the Garden Room from the Villa of Livia at Primaporta, which epitomizes the Second Style by transforming the flat wall into a panoramic window.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the great buildings and engineering marvels of Rome and its empire, with an emphasis on urban planning and individual monuments and their decoration, including mural painting. While architectural developments in Rome, Pompeii, and Central Italy are highlighted, the course also provides a survey of sites and structures in what are now North Italy, Sicily, France, Spain, Germany, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, and North Africa. The lectures are illustrated with over 1,500 images, many from Professor Kleiner's personal collection.

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