Pompeii and the Roman Villa. Art and Culture Around the Bay of Naples

di Carol C Mattusch

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    24.00 x 29.30 cm
    Illustrated in colour and black and white throughout
    First published 2008

    From the second century BC onward, prominent Romans retreated to their villas around the Bay of Naples, a popular holiday spot for relaxation and relief from the pressures of business. The picturesque bay provided an ideal setting in which to read and write, exercise, enjoy the gardens, admire the views and entertain friends.

    Julius Caesar, Caligula, Claudius and Nero all built seaside villas in Baiae; the emperor Augustus holidayed in Sorrentum, Capreae and Pausilypon, and Tiberius retired to Capreae. The richly decorated imperial villas set high artistic standards in the region, and the sculptors and painters whom the emperors employed found clients among the urban and suburban elite in Pompeii and Herculaneum, Stabiae and Oplontis.

    The magnificent contents of these sumptuously appointed villas and townhouses are the subject of Pompeii and the Roman Villa, and with them the breadth and richness of cultural and artistic life that thrived around the Bay of Naples before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.

    Two related themes are discussed: the influence of classical Greece on Roman art and culture around the bay, and the much later resurgence of this ‘taste for the antique’ in the modern world. An international team of experts examines this exquisite corpus of ancient Roman art, lavishly complemented by more than 350 illustrations of paintings, sculpture, mosaics, frescoes, jewelry, glass and more.

    Published in association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington