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Lecture 17

HISTART 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 17: Getty Villa, Peristyle, Lake Avernus

History of Art
Course Code
Celeste Brusati

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Lecture 17 Notes:
Naturalism and abstraction in Roman representations of nature
Background: the scenic and fertile Italian (volcanic) landscape
Roman attitudes towards nature: the sacredness of nature and the virtues of
country life
Nature dominated: land divisions, architectural interventions, controlled views
Nature abstracted: formal gardens and paintings of garden
Landscapes and villas: reality and fiction. Reflections of Roman social
aspirations and world view as new rulers of the known inhabited world
Nature symbolized: god and goddesses
Background on Landscape: Geological Map of Italy
Past volcanic + mountains areas ~ minerals + rocks -cover the earth with beauty
(Castellanmmare di Stabia)
Lake Avernus is dangerous as a volcanic crater, but also beautiful
Paintings that show country folk who are close to nature
A shrine to nature's deities -aging of these trends
Satyr -a man and an goat mix
Mount Vesuvius seen from Pompeii (left)
There are grape vines, which reflects regulating of the nature
The mountain is in the background -connections in nature
A wall painting from the House of the Centenary in Pompeii (right)
Is the wine feeding the snake?
The shape of the mountain has changed
View near Mount Vesuvius with vineyard in foreground
The grape vines/wine is very important
Centuriation of the land for army veterans -they got land
The land was a valuable commodity, which was gifted to the veterans
Reconstructed view of a rustic villa with vineyards at the foot of Mount Vesuvius
What your land/villa would have looked like
Villas -grapevines are shown here as well
Villa of Mysteries, Pompeii (reconstructed view), combined elegant living quarters
with rustic villa
Idea of the text: You must have nice enough living quarters, so the owners would
be willing to visit from the city (usually managed by others & slaves)
-Red painting -connect the nature & productivity: they are celebrating their
4 Nature Abstracted -redudancy
Atrium houses with views into colonnaded (peristyle) gardens:
-House of the Vettii
-House of the Menander, Pompeii
You could see right through these houses in attempts of bringing the outer
beauty indoors
These were typical houses in Pompeii, which collected drain water into the
wells before the aqueducts
§You can see straight through the house to see the garden
Garden wall in the House of the Menander, Pompeii
-The gardens were painted on the walls to give the illusion of nature truly being
Garden in the House of the Gilded Cupids, Pompeii
-These gardens were artificial recreations of nature indoors, so the nature becomes
-The garden painting, House of the Golden Bracelet, Pompeii
-Garden room in the Vila of Livia at Primaporta
People would have paintings of their gardens in their houses because they
enjoyed the nature so much
House of Livia, Palatine Hill, Rome
-Garden of the House of the Marine Venus, Pompeii
Detail of the Marine Venus
Detail of the Garden in the House of the Marine Venus, Pompeii
§House of the Fruit Orchard, Pompeii
Room of a villa near Pompeii: Metropolitan Museum of Art
-A privileged point of view -you can control your landscape to control your view
View of Sorrentine Peninsula from Sorrento
-Looking towards Pompeii
Villa San Marco, Stabiae (reconstructed view of peristyle garden)
-The name was given by archaeologists
The Getty Villa, Malibu, California
-Large peristyle garden
-Grand enclosed spaces with gardens
There was pride in having exotic plants (imported/brought back)
§Symbols of power and growth
-These fancy villas were only vacaton homes near Naples and they were rarely
Views of harbors and villas from the Villa of San Marco at Stabiae
-Concrete (hydrolic-concrete) prozellana -platform from the volcanoes
(limestones), creating island, etc
The Romans did a lot with the surrounding seaside resources
Roman villa
-Looked out to the sea -down 30 ft
02.15.17. Domesticated Nature in Ancient Italy
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