Lecture 32

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Classics 456  Dr. Soren

  Roman Painting and Mosaics


              Lecture 32:  Second Century Painting


A. The House of Ganymede in Ostia

   l. Circa 170-180 A.D.

   2. Showy, illogical, dynamic,restless

   3. Asymmetrical- purposeless prospects, odd figure placement

   4. Vivacious polychromy- yellow and red

   5. Third style legacy- thin and reedy, vestigial prospects

   6. Tiny tabulae

   7. Emphasis on squares &panels, monochrome backgrounds

   8. Fuzzy and inorganic and coarse

   9. Derivative and eclectic

   10. Two types of decoration 160-180

      a. Second style revival but stiffer

      b. Light and delicate look- lines joined by vegetal

         festoons with birds, fish, small items isolated

   11. Preference for white, red, yellow and sometimes green

   12. Breakdown of plasticity- increased impressionism


  1. Casa Celimontana- (Church of Saints Giovanni and Paulo)-  

Originally 100 feet long   

   l. House of Saints John and Paul under church

      a. Martyrs of Julian the Apostate A.D. 362

      b. On Clivus Scaurus- Titulis Byzantis (senator)

   2. Earlier-- a Roman insula with several houses, later joined

   3. Rare example of second century frieze in nymphaeum of house

      a. Venus with Adonis

      b. Thetis


C. Mithraeum of Villa Barberini

   l. Second century- near Baths of Diocletian/train station

   2. Quirinal Hill- discovered 1936

   3. Mithras- Indo-Iranian cult, Persian cap

      a. 7 grades of initiation

      b. Slaying of the bull from the moon

      c. Avert gaze of bull

      d. Mystic banquet

      e. Mithras fights with Apollo, dine and Mithras goes

         to the sun in a chariot

      f. Alliance of Mithras and Apollo

      g. Mithras kneeling between trees

      h. Mithras strikes the sun with a bull leg, sun kneels

      i. Cautes= acclivity of sun Dec. 21- June 21; Cautopates

      j. Zodiac signs, sun and moon


For a copy of this PowerPoint lecture please click here.