Roman / Panel from the Black Room at Boscotrecase, north wall / last decade of 1st century B.C.Roman
Panel from the Black Room at Boscotrecase, north wall
last decade of 1st century B.C.

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Creator Nationality: European; Southern European; Roman
Creator Name-CRT: Roman
Title: Panel from the Black Room at Boscotrecase, north wall
View: Principal view
Creation Start Date: 0
Creation End Date: 0
Creation Date: last decade of 1st century B.C.
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Materials and Techniques: Fresco
Dimensions: H. 7 ft. 8 in. (2.33 m)

In the second half of the first century B.C., many wealthy Romans built sumptuous villas along the coast near Naples. One of the most elaborate must have been the villa built by Agrippa, close friend of the emperor Augustus and husband of his daughter Julia. It stood overlooking the Bay of Naples, near the modern Italian town of Boscotrecase. Completely buried during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D., the villa was partially excavated between 1903 and 1905, when wall decorations in four bedrooms were removed.

Agrippa died in 12 B.C., and his son Agrippa Postumus became the villa's proprietor in 11 B.C., as inscriptions found there indicate; the frescos must have been completed during renovations begun at that time. Painted by artists working for the imperial household, they are among the finest surviving examples of Roman wall painting. This sophisticated decoration is a masterpiece of the so-called Third Style that flourished during the reign of Augustus. While previously artists strove to create an illusion of architectural depth, here that idea is treated whimsically with attenuated, highly refined forms. The tiny landscape vignette floats like an island in the middle of a playful rendition of architectural motifs.

AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York
ID Number: 20.192.2
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1920
Copyright: Copyright ? 2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All rights reserved.
Style or Period: Augustan
AMICA ID: MMA_.20.192.2
AMICA Library Year: 2002
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright (c) 2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All Rights Reserved

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