n Akroterion - Light, space and affluent taste : ancient Pompeian houses and their decoration

Volume 54, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0303-1896
  • E-ISSN: 2079-2883
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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 - 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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