At NYU’s “Pompeii in Color” Exhibit, See Frescoes Rarely Displayed Outside of Italy

by AryanArtnews
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If you arrive in Pompeii and cannot see the incredible ancient Roman frescoes found there, a visit to the Ancient World Institute at New York University is the next best option. The current exhibition, “Colors of Pompeii: The Life of Roman Painting,” is a temporary exhibition of 35 frescoes from the Archaeological Museum of Naples, revealing what an ancient Roman house looks like. It is done.

When Mount Vesuvius erupted on August 24, 1979, Pompeii was a sophisticated city with 10,000 to 20,000 inhabitants. Buried in ash and pumice by the eruption of a volcano, it became a frozen city over time and was lost until the 1700s, when excavation began, essentially creating archaeological discipline. Of course, neither technology nor standards are today. Some of the early excavations were unplanned by predators and other untrained workers, and many frescoes were stripped from the walls and framed like paintings. I did.

Installation from Pompeii View Color: The Life of Roman Painting, 2022. Image © Ancient World Institute. Photo: Andrea Brizzi

The frescoes on display at this exhibition were mainly from a private home called Domus. Some depict mythical figures such as Odysseus and Heracles, while others depict domestic landscapes and still lifes. For example, at Marcus Lucretius’s house, a drunken Hercules is depicted in a fresco in the dining room. This is intended to convey the status of Lucretius as an elegant host, while warning guests of the dangers of drinking too much wine.

Indeed, many frescoes aimed to convey a subtle message about the wealthy patrons who commissioned them. The Roman house, in particular, was a hybrid space where residents and their families not only slept, but also did business and welcomed guests. The house usually had an atrium, a dining room, a kitchen, an office, and a series of multipurpose rooms called cubicles that could be used for sleeping and other activities.

The online version of the exhibition should have been a virtual tour of the House of the Tragic Poet, with decorative mosaics on the floor, frescoes on the walls, and bright reds and yellows. Such virtual recreation certainly helps to imagine what these ancient homes look like, but seeing the ancient frescoes in person is especially about surviving over 2,000 years. It’s a great experience when you realize it.

Pompeii frescoes in Color exhibition
Painter at work, 1st century AD, fresco, house of the surgeon, Pompeii. Height 45.4 cm; Width 45 cm. National Archaeological Museum of Naples: MANN9018. Image © Photo Archive, National Archaeological Museum of Naples.

On April 7th and 9th, untapped New York insiders will be invited to a guided tour of “The Colors of Pompeii: The Life of Roman Painting”. Participants saw 35 frescoes at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples, depicting dynamic mythological scenes, fascinating landscapes, gorgeous still lifes, stunning trompe-l’oeil, enchanting portraits and energetic genre paintings. Discover these important works as.

This exhibition provides an exciting opportunity to learn about ancient paintings, the hobbies and values ​​of the Romans who lived with these works, and the techniques used by the artists who created them. Rarely exhibited outside Italy, these very well-preserved frescoes invite us to look beyond the ashes of the tragic city, instead ancient Rome, which the Pompeii themselves knew. Experience the vibrant world of your home.

The tour will be led by a PhD. A New York University student with expertise in ancient art or archeology. This event is free for untapped New York insiders. If you’re not a member, join now (and get the first month for free with code JOINUS).

Colored Pompeii installation view

Pompeii in color: life of Roman painting

Then read about 10 new public art installations on display in New York this month!

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