Wednesday 2 September 2009

Book: The Splendor of Roman Wall Painting

Umberto Pappalardo, The Splendor of Roman Wall Painting, Getty Publications, 2009.

'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 are 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 scenes--rich with fabulous details of illusionistic architecture, lush gardens, exotic animals, and erotic adventures--impressive in their display of technical mastery and enduring in their visual impact.'


Francesca Tronchin said...

I'm actually writing a review of this for BMCR, so I would love to hear anyone's ideas about the book!

Francesca Tronchin said...

Just FYI: in the process of writing my review on this book, I learned that it is in fact an abridged version of Pappalardo's 2005 book from Getty Publications, Domus: Wall Painting in the Roman House, written with Donatella Mazzoleni.

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