Ch.8 : The Painting Styles 

Pompeii, in its urban agglomeration vasteté allows us a thorough study of all the arts in force at the time.  Thanks to searches and searches paintings found more depth at the site, we now know they existed in Roman times in the city, four predominant styles of painting:

1° STYLE (or "inlays" style) is spreading throughout the Roman world in the second century BC. J.-C.  BC extends when used to paint not only the walls of public and religious buildings but also private homes.  This is a type of decoration from Greece, which is inspired by the own construction technique to the architecture of fifth and sixth centuries BC. J.-C. (appareil isodomon). BC (isodomon device).  We reproduced, in polychrome stucco, the projections, such as bases, the central part to large panels, the register higher than smaller tiles, cornices and pillars sometimes used to punctuate the walls. The contrast between the colors n 'is other than paint transposition of innovations that Hellenism, including the use of quality marble and different colors to make each element.  The stucco decoration imitates, by the variety of colors, by the use of plinths, compartments and bosses, the marble walls of the coating ("Casa di Sallustio" - "Casa del Fauno"). This period extends from the year 150 to the year 80 BC. J.-C; AD;  that is to say from the second Samnite era until the beginning of Roman colonization

STYLE 2° (or architectural style) is affirmed at the time of transplantation of Publius Cornelius Sulla colony (80 BC.) The decoration of walls present views where architectural elements give the illusion to articulate on different level, creating shortcuts and prospects complicated games that seem drill the wall and plunges us into an imaginary space. The trompe l'oeil of the Roman theater of the Hellenistic period and the new "Baroque" modules of the architecture of the second and first century BC. J.-C. sont les modèles auxquels ce style s'inspire. AD are the models which the style is inspired.  The decoration is not limited to imitate the surface coatings.  It uses the perspective to give the illusion of architectural compositions in two or even several levels deep.

In addition, the wall is adorned with characters which come in large compositions (mythical, heroic or religious subjects) or in smaller tables, interspersed, like panels, among architectural elements ("Casa di Obellio Firmo, the "Labirinto" for "Nozze d'Argento, the" Criptoportico "," Villa dei Misteri ", etc.). This period extends from the year 80 BC. in the year 14 AD-C. that is to say since the beginning of the Roman colonization to the death of Augustus.

3. STYLE (or Egyptian ornamental style) represents a reaction to baroque trompe l'oeil solutions specific to II 'style, according to the characteristics of the classical academic style and the age of Augustus. The walls become again simple flat surfaces which surround an enclosed space.  They are divided into three parts by means of horizontal and vertical lines of solid color, decorated with thin and purely decorative architectural elements.  In the center, the eye is drawn to a painting whose subject is usually mythological, religious or idyllic, placed inside a shrine flanked by panels.

Drawings hanging in the center of these represent landscapes and miniature size characters.  At the top level still survive architectures sham as then in the II style.  It should be noted the frequent use of decorative elements recalling Egypt and the appearance of an impressionist technique enlivens the simple and elegant classical style with the third yet it does not follow the rules. D In the previous style, the architectural scheme drew its decorative motifs of the same character construction.

During this period, we see disappear and take in the overall composition and in the details, a highly ornamental character: columns, strips and friezes are enriched with minute details executed with great finesse and consummate science in the use of colors ("Casa di Cecilio Giocondo" and "Casa di M. Lucrezio Frontone"). This period from the beginning of the imperial period until 63 AD.

4. STYLE (ornamental style) belongs to the time of Claudius and Nero.  It is the manifestation of the own eclecticism Roman art and uses a wide variety of types of decoration inspired by the second and the third style.  The colors are sharper and arranged to create a full chromatic opposition of life;  decorative elements multiply and gather; architectures sham rub in mythological scenes often painted with impressionist technique.
The representation of carpet having suspended in the center of small figures belongs to a genus very special, inspired by the Greeks used to cover the walls with decorative tapestries.  All the decoration of the wall assumes the character of a composition, simply ornamental.

There is no longer any distinction between what is and what is painting architectural element.  The architectural lines that frame the subject have nothing to do with reality, or even delusion. These are whimsical patterns, unreal and overburdened ornamental elements.  We are in the style of the last Pompeian period, characterized by the deployment mercantile luxury that we find in the house of Pompeii before the fatal eruption. The "Casa dei Vettii" offers us the most typical model. This period extends from Claude to the cataclysm that buried the city.

Ch.9 : The Sculpture in Pompei...