Andrea Mall on Roman Domestic Decor

Leda and the swan, House of the Gilded Cupids,...
Image by Tintern via Flickr

I suspect this one from the Toledo Museum of Art will be popular among our readers:

Andrea Mall discussed room groupings in Roman domestic architecture and their decoration at the Toledo Museum of Art. These suites of rooms, or diaetae as they were called in Latin, likely had their origin in lavish villas along the Bay of Naples. She first examined the extraordinary prototypes at the Villa of the Mysteries and the Villa at Boscoreale, then shifted to explore how Pompeians incorporated these decorative schemes into their urban homes. The Romans used several ways to distinguish suites from the rest of the home. Rooms could be associated through their architectural design, as in the House of Vettii; which has a suite consisting of successive rooms that recede into the residence. Rooms could also be linked through mythological depictions as in the House of the Centenary, whose frescoes display several myths, all tied together by a common theme of sacrifice. In the House of the Gilded Cupids, a suite likely intended for use by a woman, is completely devoid of men and focuses on feminine iconography.

Andrea Mall received her undergraduate degree in Classical art and archaeology and Latin from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and her master’s degree in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin with a focus in ancient art. In 2002, she participated in an Etruscan excavation at Poggio Colla in Tuscany, Italy. She moved to Toledo in 2006 to work with Dr. Sandra Knudsen on the exhibition In Stabiano featuring frescoes from villas located on the Bay of Naples. She has since taken a permanent position at the Toledo Museum of Art as the Assistant Registrar for domestic loans and exhibition. She recently made her publishing debut by contributing entries to the Toledo Museum of Art’s Masterworks publication.

via Andrea Mall | “Extreme Makeover: Decor in the Ancient Houses of Pompeii” | February 12, 2010 | Toledo Museum of Art.

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