Roman Wall Painting Analysis

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In the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the various slides we have in class, I have observed Roman wall paintings, also know as frescoes. Frescoes also can be made in four different styles, each with their own unique qualities. A fresco is a painting done directly on a wall inside of a Roman building and are used to capture a moment in time, show off or imitate wealth, and show their love of the gods. These three uses of frescoes are also three of the main characteristics of Roman culture. After examining three frescoes, one main similarity between them is the use of golden colored paint to draw attention to an object that portrays Roman culture.
In the first fresco, First Style wall painting in the first area (fauce) of the Samnite House,
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This style is more of an architectural style rather than the imitation of the first style. One object that caught my attention was a golden bull head figure. The functionality of this head was to suspend vegetation which was one of the main attribute of the third style fresco. This garland allows the composition of the painting to be based around it. Objects such as a golden head of Silenos, a basket containing a snake, and many fruits hang from the garland. While drawings of marble are above the garland with more vegetation even higher than that, attempting to show of wealth that is also found in the first fresco. Most of the objects in the painting are iconography for the god Dionysus. Silenos is a satyr, a zoomorphic figure with its top half resembling a human while the bottom half represents a goat, who is the minor god under Dionysus. Minor gods were also important as the main ones, incorporating them into art would show homage to the god that they followed. The various fruit hanging from the garland also show tribute to the god Dionysus. Being the god of wine, these fruits we probably drawn to show as an offering to him. The gods were viewed as figures who had immense power, sending the gods offerings were probably a way of trying to get gifts them. This fresco contains negative space in between the red walls that the garland is hanging from. This was …show more content…
Not only does this involve the style of the fresco but the deeper meaning behind each of them as well. After observing the frescoes I have come to the conclusion that gold many have been very valuable to the Romans. Since only a few objects are portrayed in gold, this material may have been scarce to them, possibly only obtaining it through victories in war. This lead me to think about other ancient cultures and the materials they used for art. Are the more important items in their art represented with a material that is not native to the area in which they are from? Also, besides involvement of light or iconography, what else is used to show divinity in

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