Wall Painting and the House as Palace

Maurice Owen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingChapter


    This is an enlarged version of the chapter “Wall Painting and the House as Palace” originally published in 2013. It contains substantially new material and updates previous material.

    The chapter critiques post-1970s approaches to ancient Roman wall-painting, particularly those put forward by social historians who sought to exclusively contextualise the wall-paintings using concepts such as self-fashioning and the display of status. The research culminated in an in-depth critique of their theoretical positions that relied on Petronius’s Satyricon in order to visualise house or villa owner's as Trimalchio-like figures in search of hedonistic pleasure and the gratuitous enhancement of personal social standing. The house and its wall-paintings are cited as the remaining visible proof of their ostentatious desires. In contrast, the chapter proposes radically different readings of the wall-paintings in line with then contemporary social values concerning piety and ancestral worship.

    Goggle analytics indicates that this e-publication is receiving on average 10-24 hits a day in up to 52 countries and 270 cities.
    The Credit link on the contents page details all the organisations that provided practical support for this AHRC and Southampton Solent University funded project, which included the Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei e Roma; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the British School at Rome.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe False-Door : dissolution and becoming in Roman wall-painting
    Place of PublicationSolent University
    Number of pages36
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2015


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