First Pompeian Style ( 200 BC )

The First Pompeian Style, or the “masonry style”, was an imitation stucco works. Often it simulated the relief technique called “opus quadratum”, used to coat the marbles exterior walls of public and religious buildings.


 HOW?

Roman cubiculum 50 b.C. - From Bilbilis, Insula I, Domus 2, Aragona, Spain. Reconstruction of a fresco in the First Pompeian style.
Calatayud Museum – Roman cubiculum 50 b.C. – From Bilbilis, Insula I, Domus 2, Aragona, Spain. Reconstruction of a fresco in the First Pompeian style.

image source: http://www.essential-humanities.net/western-art/painting/roman/

It creates the illusion that a wall is composed of stone blocks (especially marble) of various colors and patterns. Sometimes other architectural elements (e.g. entablatures, pilasters) are also painted in.


Each rectangle of painted “marble” was connected by stucco moldings that added a three-dimensional effect.  In temples and other official buildings, the Romans used costly imported marbles in a variety of colors to decorate the walls.

When?

The House of Sallust in Pompeii, from the second century BCE, Incrustation Style (first), Wall-Painting, Casa Sannitica (Samnite), Herculaneum, Naples, Italy.
The House of Sallust in Pompeii, from the second century BCE, Incrustation Style (first), Wall-Painting, Casa Sannitica (Samnite), Herculaneum, Naples, Italy.

image source: http://www.accla.org/actaaccla/ramage.html

This style flourished in the two centuries leading up to the Roman Empire period. Using bold colors to suggest different types of costly stone, this style looked back to paintings and architecture created in the Hellenistic kingdoms in the late 4th to early 3rd century B.C., particularly the lavish palaces whose interiors were bedecked with marble and other stone coverings.

Why?

First Style wall painting in the “fauces” of the Samnite House, Herculaneum, late second century BCE, imitated marble panels with stucco relief.
First Style wall painting in the “fauces” of the Samnite House, Herculaneum, late second century BCE, imitated marble panels with stucco relief.

image source: http://www.accla.org/actaaccla/ramage.html

Ordinary Romans could not afford such expense, so they decorated their homes with painted imitations of the luxurious yellow, purple and pink marbles. Painters became so skilled at imitating certain marbles that the large, rectangular slabs were rendered on the wall marbled and veined, just like real pieces of stone.

The First Style was also used with other styles for decorating the lower sections of walls that were not seen as much as the higher levels.

Info source: http://www.essential-humanities.net/western-art/painting/roman/

http://www.pompeiin.com/en/Painting_styles.html

http://www.artic.edu/aic/resources/resource/2688

https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ancient-art-civilizations/roman/wall-painting/a/roman-wall-painting-styles

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pompeian_Styles

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