Roman wall paintings assn 1 - db topic 1 - schwappach


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Roman wall paintings assn 1 - db topic 1 - schwappach

  1. 1. Roman Wall Paintings 1Running head: Roman Wall Paintings Roman Wall Paintings Assignment #1, Discussion Board Entry #1 TSgt Loren Karl-Robinson Schwappach Colorado Technical University Prepared for Tammy Starzyk HUM140-0804A-08 Art Appreciation 10 October, 2008
  2. 2. Roman Wall Paintings 2 Abstract Over two centuries back in history Roman masonry workers and artisans were redefiningthe significance and value of art at home and in within society. Roman wall paintings are atestament to early human desires to capture the hero’s of legend, beauties of nature, and wondersof the world onto something as simple as a wall. This short discussion-essay will take you on ajourney into the generous behind Roman artisans and the four distinctive styles they used to turnordinary flat surfaces into stunning visual masterpieces.
  3. 3. Roman Wall Paintings 3 Through the tragedy of Mount Vesuvius’s volcanic eruption on August 24, 79 A.D. comenearly all of our examples of Roman wall artistries. To this day most of the Roman wallpaintings discovered are found in the areas of Pompeii and Herculaneum, better known as thebay of Naples. (Roman painting, 2004) With materials like sea whelks, sand, copper, white lead, cinnabar, and burnt brushwoodfor their color palette Roman’s discovered ways to lighten and enhance their often dark sunand/or torch lit havens into at times three dimensional and often dreamy master pieces. Art Historians have classified four fundamental periods (styles) of Roman wall paintings.These styles of wall paintings are the Incrustation (introduced 200-60 B.C.), Architectonic(introduced 60-20 B.C.), Ornamental (introduced 20 B.C. to 20 A.D.), and Intricate (introduced20 A.D. to 79 A.D.). (Roman painting, 2004) To create their incredible canvases a few wealthy Roman’s had their wall paintingscreated on several coats of powdered marble. This practice of using marble was far too costlyfor most Roman’s and thus plaster or coats of mortar were often used in substitute. There aremany historical references illuminating that they may have used other hard surfaces such aswood and ivory as well. (Roman painting, 2004) Roman wall paintings had several purposes to the patrons which commissioned theirdesign and the artists that constructed them. As wall paintings they offered an imaginative wayto turn an often dark, untouched, underappreciated, and neglected surrounding into a brightwindow of creativity and mystery. Since most Roman households were dark and lit simplythrough the use of sunlight and/or fire wall paintings offered a resourceful way of brighteningones home, expanding dimension, and capturing the empathy of Roman minds.
  4. 4. Roman Wall Paintings 4 The first style used in the assembly of Roman wall paintings was known as Incrustation.The Incrustation style was the basis of Roman wall paintings and used colored stones and marblein mosaic patterns (See: Image 1). The second style known as the Architectonic style used artisan tricks known as intuitiveperspective (architectural details follow diagonal lines), and atmospheric perspective (colorsappear slightly greyer in the background) to give a three dimensional, or far away appearance totheir artwork (See: Image 2). (Stokstad, M. (2007) Ornamental style was the third style introduced to Roman wall paintings and its’ successand push seems to have been pushed by Roman Emperor Agustus according to today’shistorians. The ornamental style sought a withdrawal from the popular incrustation andarchitectonic styles and called for artisans to reach deeper into their legends, heroes, andimaginations and refuse simple illusions. Thus the ornamental style featured much grey and darkinsane and sometimes nightmarish imagery (See Image 3). (Roman painting, 2004) The fourth and final style introduced was known as the intricate style and was a mesh ofthe Incrustation styles bright imagery and colors, Architectural styles three dimensionality, andthe Ornamental styles mythical (although bright) heroic legends and lore. (Roman painting,2004)
  5. 5. Roman Wall Paintings 5 Appendix Image 1: Example of a Roman Wall Painting (Incrustation Style): Garden scene with fountains and birds: Image obtained on 10October 2008 from The Romans website at: Image 2: Example of a Roman wall painting (Architectonic Style): From the Villa of P. Fannius Synistor at Boscoreale. Imageobtained on 10 October 2008 from Metropolitan Museum of Art website at:
  6. 6. Roman Wall Paintings 6 Appendix Image 3: Example of a Roman wall painting (Ornamental Style): From the "Mythological Room" of the Imperial Villa atBoscotrecase. Image obtained on 10 October 2008 from Metropolitan Museum of Art website at: Image 4: Example of a Roman wall painting (Intricate Style): From the House of M. Lucretius Fronto. Image obtained on 10 October2008 from the Wikipedia Commons website at:
  7. 7. Roman Wall Paintings 7 ReferencesStokstad, M. (2007). Art: a brief history (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.Roman painting. (October, 2004). Retrieved on October 10, 2008 from