Illusion, Memory and Prosperity: The Painted Walls of Ancient Italy
Tuesday, Thursday: 9:30-11:00am
The art of painting was highly valued in ancient Italy. Archaeological evidence demonstrates that pre-Roman cultures of Italy made extensive use of painting. This course seeks to examine the relationship between Italian wall painting of the Roman period and the earlier pictorial traditions of the Italian peninsula — particularly that of the Etruscans. The course will present the surviving evidence for a wide range of pictorial representation. Co-taught by an Etruscologist and a Historian of Roman art, it will include a sampling of the surviving paintings from Etruscan tombs; the earliest pictorial remains from the city of Rome itself; and elaborate suites of painted rooms found in the houses of Pompeii and Herculaneum. How can different “painted spaces,” i.e., funerary, civic, religious and secular tell us about the significant ways wall paintings exercised decorative power and agency? This course will examine the deeper meaning of the decorative and communicative programs of the painted world of ancient Italy.
This course fulfills the following Major requirements: Geographical area (A), and Chronological period (I).