Lecture 33

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Roman Painting and Mosaics


          Lecture 33: Second and Third Century Painting


A. The Tomb of the Pancratii

   l. Found in 1857 on Via Latina- 2 story mausoleum above ground and two

      chambers below

   2. Burial college- anticipates catacombs

   3. 159 A.D.- combination of painting and stucco

   4. No optical illusion- overall abstract geometric plan

   5. End of large mythological scenes

   6. Cieling Center- Jupiter with eagle

      a. Diomedes takes Palladion

      b. Philoctetes wounded at Lemnos

      c. Achilles gives body of Hector to Priam

      d. Hercules on Mount Olympus

      e. Judgement of Paris

   7. Rococo elements- lunette covered with shell

      a. Head of Oceanus carried by two sea horses

      b. Cupids with sword and shield flank

      c. 2 panthers jump at vase, cow and calf, goat and ram

      d. Achilles in center of Lunette

      e. Centaurs gight with lions, sacral idyllic scenes


B. Development of Stucco- cf. Emily Wadsworth

   l. 18th Dynasty Egypt, Catal Huyuk, Knossos

   2. Believed not used in Classical Greece

      a. Solon passed law forbidding plaster in tombs

      b.Samothrace- J.R. McCredie, 5th century B.C.

      c. Epidauros tholos

  3. Tomb of the Reliefs at Caere

  4. Opus Albarium- popular up until later second century A.D.


C. Monument of the Aurelii- Via Labicana just inside Aurelian


   l. A riquadri design- 3 rooms

   2. Red, green, brown on white

   3. Overall patterning effect- influence of third style

   4. Intense figures- crogiolo espressivo

   5. Gnostics-blend of Christianity and Ptolemaic science and


      a. Earth is center of universe- stars fixed on rotating


      b. Soma and sema- body is tomb/prison

      c. Valentinus- ca. 150 A.D.

         l.  Buthos, thought and silence

         2. Buthos plus though = mind and truth and sofia

         3. Sofia tries to mate with buthos, but gets monster

            a. Offspring form material world

            b. All fall out of heaven until Horus redeems her

         4. Importance of Jesus- emancipation from soul

         5. Coptic- soul set free, becomes ray through spheres

         6. Psychedelic figures shot through with divine ray

For a copy of this PowerPoint Lecture please click here.