LIGHT, SPACE AND AFFLUENT TASTE: ANCIENT POMPEIAN HOUSES AND THEIR DECORATION

S. Masters

Abstract


While Pompeian houses vary in size, ground plan, opulence and specific decorative schemes, they do tend to exemplify certain consistent design motivations. The owner of an urban Pompeian house — or domus — of whatever size, seems to aim towards creating a certain kind of domestic space. This paper investigates some aspects of the design and decoration of Pompeian houses of roughly the 1st century BC to the 1st century AD, with a particular interest in motives — practical, social, and aspirational — for creating domestic spaces of a particular kind. In doing so three key principles of Pompeian house design and interior decoration will be highlighted: the maximisation of light and space and the display of affluent taste.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7445/54-0-32

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ISSN 2079-2883 (online); ISSN 0303-1896 (print)

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