Ch.9 : The Sculpture in Pompei
Sculpted works found at Pompeii usually came from craft shops. This production had to meet various requirements: decoration of houses, political celebrations, religious and funeral rites. Remember that Pompeii was a provincial town where orders were placed by the bourgeoisie who did not care to own works of art.. The role of the sculpture was primarily "practical"; artisans engaged sculptures of small dimensions although it has discovered sculptures exceeding the scale such as the Temple of Jupiter. Copies of famous works, such as the Colorado beetle (fire hose), are rare.
We use different materials: marble, tufa, limestone, terracotta and bronze. The latter was used more that we would think: fragments of statues and famous statues citharède like Apollo, Apollo and Arthémis archers and those that called Caligula horse, are a testimony. After the transplant Sylla colony, there is the appearance of the first portraits. First, they serve to honor a death or a person but from the advent of the Empire, they mainly represent the members of the imperial family.
The sculptures that have survived in Pompeii show that there was a preference for small statues as they were designed for ornamental purposes, must be integrated into the rooms and gardens to beautify fountains, atria or tablinia. Large statues, those who had a commemorative function, were mostly located in the Forum.
The material was favored in bronze, but there are many little masterpieces in marble, tuff and clay. "The Dancing Satyr", the "Drunken Silenus" and "Boar attacked" are some of the pieces that combine with the freshness and immediacy of their design of exquisite workmanship. Particular mention should be given to the "Colorado beetle", a beautiful copy of a beautiful Greek sculpture. There are various fragments of statues, mostly from the Forum area and temples dedicated to the Capitoline Triad.