Four Styles Of Wall Paintings Essay

602 words - 3 pages

Most paintings from the Roman era have been found in Pompeii and Herculaneum, and many other towns in the Bay of Naples. There are four different Pompeian styles of paintings. The division of the styles was based on fundamental differences in the way the artist would treat the wall and paint the space. The first two styles began during the Republican period and the third and fourth styles were found in imperial times.The first Pompeian style began during the second century BC. During this time most of the house decorations were very simple, consisting of imitations of colored marble. A home owner who was not able to afford real marble would have commissioned a painted version. Plaster was used to emphasize the division of the painted blocks, and to also make the three-dimensional cornice with a ...view middle of the document...

The House of Griffins is an example of the second style. The House of Griffin was located on Palatine Hill. The walls flatness was emphasized by large central panels that were painted solid red. The other had marble patterns that gave the off the impression of being three-dimensional. The painters on the mid-first century BC treated the walls as if they were a sequence of windows leading to the outside world. Scenes with rocks, and birds at a fountain with vines, and trellis mimicked the sight that might have been seen through the real window next to the painting.The third Pompeian style began during the Augustan age; it also was derived form the second style of wall painting. The painters treated the walls as the flat surface that it is, rather than a window. The ornamental value of design was emphasized with rectilinear and organic patterns alongside a single colored background. In the center of the wall was a small vignette showing a tower, trees, statues, and human figures. This combination was known to be a sacred landscape. The vista usually included small shrines with trees, and a landscape with statues, bridges, rocks, shepherds' huts, shepards, and also an occasional sheep, goat, or cow. A house at Pompeii that was excavated in the 1970's had a room that had paintings of trees, flowers, birds in a garden, with little scenes inside rectangular frames.The fourth Pompeian style is a combination of the second and third styles. Columns continued to be used but the wall was broken up into different spatial levels with vistas on top of more remote scenes. The creation of the fourth style was partly due to the painter Famulus. There are many remnants of the third style that can be seen like, the reed like columns, but the attention to receding space is a characteristic if the fourth. A good example of the fourth style of painting can be found on page 96 of our textbook. This painting is from Herculaneum.

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