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The Insula of the Menander at PompeiiVolume II: The Decorations$
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Roger Ling and Lesley Ling

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199266951

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199266951.001.0001

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(p.107) I. 10. 11: CASA DEGLI AMANTI
The Insula of the Menander at Pompeii

Roger Ling

Lesley Ling

Oxford University Press

The Surviving Decorations of the Casa degli Amanti belong primarily to the Fourth Style, but there are glimpses of a Second Style phase, dated around the third quarter of the first century BC, as well as some evidence for the division of the Fourth Style decorations into a very early (transitional Third to Fourth) and late (post-earthquake) phase. Second Style paintings—a simple scheme of black orthostates with yellow margins surmounted by a frieze containing a vegetal scroll—occur only in the fauces (Figs. 125–6; Pl. 97, at left), deliberately preserved when the decoration of the atrium was renewed at the time of the Fourth Style. Decorated pavements of the same phase can be identified in I.10.10 and room 19, in both cases apparently overlaid by later, plainer paving, as well as in the ala or exedra (6) opening off the south side of the atrium, and round the rim of the atrium’s impluvium (Fig. 127). In all cases the decoration consists of tesserae set in cocciopesto, either in lines forming a lozenge grid (Pl. 99) or in rows of little crosslets. The front part of the pavement of room 8, a lavapesta with a scattering of white, black, and green stones, may also go back to this time. To the late Third or early-Fourth Style we must assign the wall-paintings of the peristyle, a simple white-ground scheme with hanging objects (vessels and musical instruments) combined with garlands and tiny purple-red panels containing pairs of ducks (Figs. 148–53; Pls. 88– 91). These are likely to have been carried out when the upper storey was added. It is also possible that the paintings of room 10 (black dado, main zone with a central columnar aedicula and cinnabar-red side-Welds containing flying birds, white upper zone with rectilinear frameworks: Figs. 155–8; Pl. 92) were applied at this time, since their handling shows a delicacy and restraint much closer to the Third Style than that of the neighbouring rooms 11 and 12. The decorated pavement of the upstairs dining-room in the east wing, above rooms 11 and 12 (Figs. 168, 176), may be ascribed to the same development, as may the pavements in the east wing of the peristyle (Fig. 147; Pls. 85–6) and in two of the rooms opening off it (rooms 10 and 11: Fig. 154; Pls. 87, 92).

Keywords:   Auximum (Osimo), Herculaneum, Rome, Soluntum (Solunto)

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