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The Social Life of Painting in Ancient Rome and on the Bay of Naples

The Social Life of Painting in Ancient Rome and on the Bay of Naples

By: Eleanor Winsor Leach (author)Paperback

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In this study, Eleanor Winsor Leach offers a new interpretation of Roman painting as found in domestic spaces of the elite classes of ancient Rome and Campania. Because the Roman house fulfilled an important function as the seat of its owner's political power, its mural decoration provides critical evidence for the interrelationship between public and private life. The painted images, Leach contends, reflect the codes of communication embedded in upper class life, such as the performative theatricality that was expected of those leading public lives, the self-conscious assimilation of Hellenistic culture among aristocrats and the ambivalent attitudes towards luxury as a coveted sign of power and a symptom of ethical degeneracy. Relying on contemporary literary sources, this book also integrates historical and semantic approaches to an investigation of the visual language through which painting communicates with its viewers. It also offers a fresh perspective on the demography of Pompeii and the relationship between the colony and Rome as reflected in its wall painting.

About Author

Eleanor Winsor Leach is Ruth N. Halls Professor of Classical Studies at Indiana University. The author of numerous articles and books on aspects of Roman literature and painting, she has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council for Learned Societies and served as President of the American Philological Association.


Introduction: the world's common property; 1. Domestic context; 2. Panels and porticoes; 3. The model of the scaenae frons; 4. Gardens and picture galleries; 5. The style of luxury; 6. Demography and decoration; Conclusion: beyond '79 in Rome and Campania.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781107690462
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 370
  • ID: 9781107690462
  • weight: 1000
  • ISBN10: 1107690463

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