Wall painting in Pompeii

Pompeian styleThe first scholar to classify the Pompeian painting was the German archaeologist August Mau that stood out in four styles.

The FIRST STYLE, referring to the period from III to I century BC, of Greek origin, structural style or fouling, was an imitation of stucco, often in relief, a technique called opus quadratum, used to coat the marbles exterior walls of public buildings and religious in the Doric style. In the House of the Faun in Pompeii and in the Samnite House in Herculaneum are significant examples of this style.

I style - Herculaneum
I style – Herculaneum

The SECOND STYLE, called architectural style and described in detail by Vitruvius, was introduced in the I century BC, and reworking some elements of the earlier style. Inspired by the scenery of the Hellenistic-Roman theater, distributed in a bottom-shaped podium, on which rested in the middle of the faux wall structures, columns, niches, with characters represented megalografie-size or scale to a slightly more small, floral elements and animals, and seen in perspective with illusionistic realism final effect of a trompe l’oeil. Examples of the second style is found in the triclinium of the Villa Oplonti, in the Villa of the Mysteries, and in the frescoes from the Villa of Boscoreale, now housed at the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Archaeological Museum of Naples.

2 style_Casa_di_Augusto3
II style – Augustus House

Over the last years of the century B.C. under the principate of Augustus with the THIRD STYLE, called Pompeian style or ornamentation, takes over the decorative. The optical illusion disappears, replaced by solid funding, usually in black, red or white, with a central miniature paintings depicting scenes of various kinds, mostly mythological, enclosed in kiosks or squares said pinakes. The walls were designed as split levels a lower base, divided by the median, through a dais decorated various ornaments. Typical were the candlesticks, the plant shoots and thyrsus. Some of the finest examples of the third style can be seen in the House of the Vetti and in the House of Lucretius Fronto.

III style_Fresco-Boscotrecase

From the age Claudia develops the FOURTH STYLE, defined fantastic style, in its first phase sees the return of the architectural elements of the second style, recreated amazing sleight of type. Scenes of heroic character-mythological and allegorical figures, painted with warmer colors representing the elements and accessories in yellow gold. In the Flavian period, so in the last years of the city of Pompeii, appear real scenes and great landscapes. It ‘s the most popular decoration in the Vesuvius area, since many houses were redecorated after the violent earthquake of 62 AD. C. The House of the Tragic Poet, one of the Vetti and Menander in Pompeii, Shrine of the Augustans and the House of the Stags at Herculaneum have some of the finest examples of decorations in the fourth style.

IV style_Herculaneum-Palestra
IV style – Herculaneum Gymnasium


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Published by Emiliano's Archaeological Tours

My name is Emiliano Tufano, I am an archaeologist and tour guide. I run an organization providing archeaological and cultural tours in Campania. When I was ten years old I found a piece of painted pottery on a small piece of land belonging to my family, which is located nearby the ancient Greek city of Paestum. For the whole of that day I kept this piece of history in my hands. I remember that it was decorated with a black figured scene of a Satyr driving a biga. The feeling I had when realized it was a genuine antique object was very strong, and I started asking myself many questions about the people who occupied that area across the centuries and, particularly, about the man who made such a beautiful piece of work. Since then I started collecting all sorts of pots and stones that I found while I wandered through the countryside. I used to divide my finds simply on the basis of their shape and color. They were the first steps of me becoming an archaeologist. At school, history was my favorite subject; therefore my decision of which degree course to choose was an easy one, Archaeology. Today, archaeology is my profession and my passion. Throughout the years I developed skills in fieldwork and academic research. I participated as a field director in several excavation projects of fundamental importance across Italy and I was engaged in significant academic research projects in Sicily, Tunisia and Libya. I now fulfill my ambition with a PhD project about the Sicilian prehistory. However, my interests go beyond just the history. I have a strong creative side and I love photography, and I write articles for a newspaper in my local area, play football and enjoy diving. I enjoy traveling and have been to many different countries, where I always make particular efforts to learn as much of the local language and culture as possible. In 2010 I became qualified to work as a tourist guide of the Campania Region, and today I offer guided tours in Italian, English and Spanish. I live my job with passion and professionalism. With me you can visit the wonders of Campania: the Vesuvian archaeological sites of Pompeii, Herculaneum and other beautiful sites, such as the historic centers of Naples, Caserta and Salerno, the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento Coast, all the major churches and museums. Through exclusive and tailor-made tours, according to your requirements, you will receive quality service and cultural enrichment.

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