Fourth Pompeian Style ( 60AD )

The Fourth Style, which Mau calls the “Intricate Style,” became popular in the mid-first century A.D. and is seen in Pompeii until the city’s destruction in 79 A.D.  It can be best described as a combination of the three styles that came before.

Fresco on a wall in the fourth style
Lucretius House, Pompeii.

Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Casa-Lucretius-Fronto-Pompeii.jpg


Fantastic

Defined “fantastic style”, it is heterogeneous and incorporates elements from all of the earlier styles; it can be best described as a combination of the three styles that came before.


Faux marble blocks along the base of the walls, as in the First Style, frame the naturalistic architectural scenes from the Second Style, which in turn combine with the large flat planes of color and slender architectural details from the Third Style.

The “Panoramic” Style also incorporates central panel pictures, although on a much larger scale than in the third style and with a much wider range of themes, incorporating mythological, genre, landscape and still life images.

Ixion Room, House of the Vetii, Pompeii, Italy, 1st century C.E.
Ixion Room, House of the Vetii, Pompeii, Italy, 1st century C.E.

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

Style Features

Architecture becomes more realistic, and the wall tends to open up again, but not so far as in Style II. Developing from Style III, paintings frequently have aediculae (or a small Roman shrine) and tapestries painted using the art technique of tromp-l’oeil, which means that a three dimensional space is imitated. But something that is only seen in the fourth style is the imitation of stage backgrounds.

Motifs and scenes

Scenes of heroic character-mythological and allegorical figures, painted with warmer colors representing the elements and accessories in yellow gold. In the Flavian period, so in the last years of the city of Pompeii, appear real scenes and great landscapes.

Further developments include the imitation of stage backgrounds, and an “intricate” style consisting of arabesques on white ground, as in Nero’s Domus Aurea in Rome.

Representative examples

A prime example of the Fourth Style is the Ixion Room in the House of the Vettii in Pompeii. One of the largest contributions seen in the Fourth Style is the advancement of still life with intense space and light. Shading was very important in the Roman still life. This style was never truly seen again until 17th and 18th centuries with the Dutch. It was also used in the 17th and 18th centuries with the English.

info source: http://www.art-and-archaeology.com/roman/painting.html  http://www.pompeiin.com/en/Painting_styles.html  https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ancient-art-civilizations/roman/wall-painting/a/roman-wall-painting-styles

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