Lecture 31

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Lecture 31: After Pompeii: Ostia and Later Roman Painting


A. After Pompeii.....The Second Century A.D.

   l. General tendencies after the third and fourth styles

      a. Severe linearity

      b. Lack of plasticity of forms

      c. Non-innovative- renounce complicated elaborate

          architectural motives       

      d. General thinness- candelabra, floral chains, poverty

      e. Reaction to fourth style- clarity of wall surface

      f. Vaults- geometric designs resemble mosaics


   2. The Hadrianic Period at Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli

      a.Cold elegance and delicacy

      b. Bath decorations


B. Ostia - 5 1/2 acres

   l. Fourth century B.C. castrum

   2. Pozzuoli is rival

   3. 87 B.C.- pillaged by Marius

   4. 67 B.C.- naval base versus Cilician pirates

   5. A.D. 42- port of Claudius begins, finished A.D. 54

   6. A.D. 100-106- Port of Trajan

   7. Isola Sacra

   8. Second century A.D.- upswing, horrea, apartments,


   9. Trajan- curia, basilica

  10. Hadrian- Capitolium, apartments and horrea north of forum, Baths of 


  11. 150-225- Golden Age


C. Painting Style

   l. Limited subjects, poorer technique

   2. Third style influence- panels of bright red and yellow

   3. Tiny figures in white, green and violet

   4. Tiny tabulae

   5. F. Fornari "La pittura decorativa di Ostia," Studi Romani1913     

   6. H. Krieger, "Dekorative Wandgemaelde aus dem II Jahrhundert nach

       Christus," Roemische Mitteilungen 1919

      a. Sketchy quality, little figures

      b. Dull lack of playfulness


D. Period of Antoninus Pius  138-161 A.D.  badly documented

   l. Isola Sacra most tombs 145-180

   2. Barrel vaulted chamber tombs with brick and masonry

   3. Sumptuous, costly tombs

   4. Light decoration- single motives, griffins, hippocamps,     

       long stem flowers, acanthus leaves        

   5. Little architecture or 3D

   6. Tomb 143- circa A.D. 160

      a. Dolphins, birds and flowers

      b. Hermes Psychopompus in center-purse for coin

         l. Caduceus

         2. Apotheosis

         3. Four Seasons with offerings

      c. Winged masks and gleaming vases-libations, rise of


      d. Cupid with shepherd crook = spring

      e. May be Dionysiac initiate- sacred grape, exalted

         drunken-ness, feel ecstasy on earth

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