Tuesday 24 July 2012

Help required with Fresco fragment

Hi everyone,

I am currently researching and writing up four fresco fragments held in Australia at Maquarie University. I was hoping that someone here might recognise the iconography / design on the following fragment. I have yet to come across it or make note of something similar whilst working in Pompeii and am hoping that someone on the blog might have come across it in Pompeii or possibly seen it in Roman wall painting elsewhere. I would like to be able to cite examples of its use in particular structures as part of my write up and any information or photographs would be helpful in sending me in the right direction. The image is below.
I am happy to acknowledge and cite you in my paper for anything you may be able to provide.

Rob Brown
Maquarie University Postgrad
Pompeii Food and Drink Project-staff


xyz said...

Hi -- We are trying to send some information about this fragment but cannot seem to make it work. Can we have a direct email? Send to lea.cline@yale.edu

Jackie and Bob at pompeiiinpictures said...

Hi Rob

Greetings from Busselton in WA.

They may be the attributes of Apollo, which normally include the cithara, the quiver and bow.

Where the fragment comes from, we do not know.

On our first glance, and probably because of the good condition and colour of the sample in your photo, our immediate thought was Oplontis or II.4.3-6 the House of Julia Felix.

By the time we get to photograph them nowadays, the walls and paintings are a lot worse for wear and weather than the frescoes in museums.

Oplontis has some similar small paintings on the same yellow background.

One example from our web site pompeiiinpictures is detailed below. It shows the House of the Centenary IX.8.6, and the attributes of Apollo in 2007.
The details are more visible in drawing in the Tatiana Warscher photograph, also below, which we are just about to include on our website.

Sogliano only includes two items for Apollo’s attributes, IX.8.6 (above) and IX.5.9. We were not able to go around the rear of the peristyle in IX.5.9 as it was shored up and deemed too dangerous, but it did not look like there was much left on the walls.
Unfortunately, Sogliano only covers the years 1867-79. See Sogliano, A., 1879. Le pitture murali campane scoverte negli anni 1867-79. Napoli: Giannini.

Another possibility may be the attributes of a muse possibly Erato the muse of love poetry whose symbol is a Cithara or Terpsichore the muse of dancing whose symbol is a lyre.
The Louvre has a number of paintings of the muses from Julia Felix, again with the same background colour.
The Louvre pictures detail below.

Unfortunately there are lots of other similar coloured walls/locations.

We would be interested to see the answer that you got from Yale. Do you know how/when/any other information about the Macquarie fragment? Are the other fragments similar? A rough date may help us in identifying where it could have come from, if only by a process of elimination.

We will keep your request in mind, and if we come across anything, we shall of course let you know.

We hope this helps. Please let us know if we can be of any further help.

We tried sending you a direct email with the pictures included but your BP email address was rejected as unknown. Perhaps you can let us have a new one so we can send them.
See Contact Us on www.pompeiiinpictures.com

Best wishes
Jackie and Bob at pompeiiinpictures

Picture links:

IX.8.6 Pompeii. December 2007. West portico, third panel from the north.
Painted panel of the attributes of Apollo.
See Schefold, K., 1957. Die Wände Pompejis. Berlin: De Gruyter. (p. 276).
See Sogliano, A., 1879. Le pitture murali campane scoverte negli anni 1867-79. Napoli: Giannini. (p.27, no.107)
See IX.8.6 Pompeii part 7

IX.8.6 Pompeii. Drawing of wall painting of attributes of Apollo, from peristyle.
See Warscher photo W1451 on Arachne

II.4.3 Pompeii. Erato, the muse of lyric poetry.
See The muse Erato at the Louvre, inventory P6.

II.4.3 Pompeii. Terpsichore, the muse of light music.
See The muse Terpsichore at the Louvre, inventory P7

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