• Regio VI.17 (Insula Occidentalis).41
  • Pompei
  • Pompeii


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    • 100 BC - 79 AD


      • House VI.17 (ins. Oc.).41 was built when Pompeii was a colony along the western edge of the hill. The building stands out for its unusual plan. In fact, it was laid out on several levels, crossing the line of the fortifications, which was used as a substructure for the lower floors and the terraces overlooking the coast. Another characteristic of this dwelling is constituted by the fact that its interior preserves, almost intact, one of the rarest painting cycles in the Second Style created in the period of Caesar (circa 40-30 B.C.). The most interesting rooms are those which face onto the large terrace (21), in particular the tablinium (6), the cubiculum (17) and the exedra (18), which must have been used by the owners as a reading room and library. The figurative scheme in this room shows a sumptuous scaenae frons, within which are depicted two intellectuals and poets. On the north wall is a man standing inside a semicircular exedra, with a papyrus in his left hand, a capsa (box for papyrus rolls) at his feet and a lyre on the ground to his right. Around his head is a gold diadem and he is crowned with ivy. Therefore, these attributes denote that he is a poet. However, a detail renders it possible to take a further step towards the identification of this individual. Behind him is shown a green bench on which some Greek letters are painted which give the reconstruction of a name. As this cannot be the name of the artist who painted the poet – it would be the first case of its kind – , it must be considered that it may indicate the identity of the man in the painting. (Domenico Esposito)


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