Pompeii Discovery

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    Pompeii and the Roman Villa:

    Art and Culture around the

    Bay of Naples

    Discovery

    Guide

    Designed or Young Audiences

    National Gallery o Art, Washington

    October , March ,

    National Gallery o Art, WashingtonOctober , March ,

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    About This Exhibition The exhibition is organized in threesections, and this guide is color-coded to help you navigate and

    explore the themes.

    Green Begin with the theme o Roman houses and villas.Discover the owners, see objects rom their homes, and explore

    art rom gardens and a dining room.

    Blue Next, learn about the Romans interest in Greek art, history,and mythology.

    OrangeThen, examine the infuence o ancient Rome on Euro-pean art and culture ater the discovery o the ruins o Pompeii

    in the eighteenth century.

    How to Use This Guide Designed or amilies and schoolgroups, the guide will help you locate key works and introduce

    you to important themes o the exhibition. The works o art are

    presented in the order in which they appear in the exhibition.

    Recommended or ages .

    First, nd the objects shown in the image.

    Then, look careully at the works o art to answer the questions.

    Related information is provided in the columns along the right

    side o each page.

    At the bottom of each page, Connect to the Present questions

    explore links between the ancient world and our own. Use these

    as discussion questions in the exhibition or to extend your visitback at home or in school.

    Tips for Teachers Use this guide to identiy good starting andstopping locations or your visit. I you have less than an hour, you

    may wish to tour only one or two sections. I you are visiting with

    a group o more than thirty students, stagger their entry times into

    the exhibition.

    Reminder Please be careul not to touch the objects or lean on thewalls or cases. Oils rom your hands and clothing can be damaging.

    The Bay o Naples is a beautiul place. The rocky coast,

    everywhere sparkling with light, drops dramatically into the

    Mediterranean, plunging into waters colored lapis, turquoise,and plum. The land is ertile and terraced with ruit trees.

    Cool breezes temper the heat o sunny days. No wonder

    the richest people in Rome including emperors and their

    amilies let the hot, dir ty city or their lavish coastal villas.

    But on an August day in AD 79, lie around the Bay o

    Naples was abruptly silenced. The volcanic eruption o

    Mount Vesuvius buried many towns and villas, preserving

    a remarkable record o the past.

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    4 Romans and Their Homes 5

    Whats in a Name?

    As you tour the exhibition, youll

    notice that many o the Roman

    houses have colorul names Houseo the Centenary, House o theTragic Poet, House o the Golden

    Bracelet. These names were

    given by archaeologists when theydiscovered the houses. Sometimes

    the name reers to a work o art

    ound inside the ruins.

    Beware the DogCave Canem (Beware the Dog):A mosaic depicting a guard dog was

    placed at the threshold o the rontdoor o some Pompeian homes as

    a humorous no trespassing sign.

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    Enter a Roman House

    Find the large photomurals on each side o the exhibition

    entrance. These murals reproduce watercolors painted in the

    early s showing how the House o the Centenary in

    Pompeii might have looked in antiquity.

    Explore this house with your eyes.

    Find the photomural details il lustrated here.

    Imagine what it may have been like to live in this house:

    Which part o the house looks like the most un to play in?

    Can you nd a place where you might like to relax?

    Connect to the present

    Think about: How is this Roman house both similar to anddierent rom houses today?

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    6 Romans and Their Homes 7

    A Famous Villa Owner

    Find the marble portrait o Augustus. Augustus was Romes rst

    emperor, and he ruled rom bc to ad. Most surviving por-

    traits o Augustus were made ater his death; this rare exception

    dates rom his lietime. He vacationed at several sites around the

    Bay o Naples and owned a villa on the island o Capri.

    Look closely at Augustus ace: circle the words below that

    describe his expression.

    Choose another portrait in this room: underline the words above

    that describe that persons expression.

    Connect to the present

    Consider: Where can you see portraits o todays leaders?What impressions or ideas do their images project?

    Seaside VillasOther people whose portraits you

    see in this room including Julius

    Caesar, the emperors Caligulaand Nero, and other members o

    Augustus amily also had villas

    around the bay. These lavish homeswere surrounded with prom-

    enades and gardens and terraces

    to the sea. I less wealthy people

    could not aord such luxury, theycould perhaps aord to have a villapainted on their walls paintings

    like this one were very popular.

    happy

    sad

    angry

    thoughtul

    tired

    worried

    calmcondent

    proud

    anxious

    pleased

    excited

    distant

    satised

    surprised

    hopeul

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    8 Romans and Their Homes 9

    At Home

    Many o the things Romans used in everyday lie are amiliar to

    us today: dishes, glassware, and jewelry are not real ly that dier-

    ent rom ours. The objects in this room give us a glimpse into theelegant liestyle o the wealthy people who lived around the bay.

    Find the six household objects shown in the details on the

    opposite page.

    Match the images to the descriptions on the right.

    Connect to the present

    Considerwhich o these items we still use today. How aretodays objects dierent rom household objects rom Pompeii?

    a table legs

    These table supports carved withantastic creatures must have

    been one o the amilys prized

    possessions.

    b lamp

    Light came rom lamps that burnedolive oil. This one has spouts or

    two fames. Oten lamps were set

    on tall stands.

    c writing implements

    Roman children learned to writeon olding wax tablets using a

    stylus. These erasable tablets werealso used or quick notes. Real

    books were written with ink on

    long rolls o papyrus.

    d cup

    This elegant two-handled silver cupwas used or drinking wine.

    e seafood

    Romans loved seaood, and sharming was a protable business.Paintings and mosaics showed the

    bounties o the sea sea bass,

    squid, clams, shrimp, octopus,lobster, eel, and founder. Some

    people even had pet sh.

    f jewelry

    Romans thought that snakes

    brought good luck. Worn on theupper arm, spiral bracelets in the

    orm o a snake were popular.

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    10 Romans and Their Homes 11

    Courtyards and Gardens I

    While villas were surrounded by gardens, houses in town had

    gardens planted in interior courtyards. These gardens were accented

    with ountains, carved relies, statues, and gurines that spurted

    water into pools. Gardens could be places or quiet, contemplative

    pursuits reading and writing, discussing philosophy with riends,

    or simply enjoying nature.

    Find these animals:dog

    lion

    snake

    peacock

    boar

    Think about What sound does each o these animals make?

    Connect to the present

    Decide: How do we bring animals and other elements romnature into our homes today?

    Dionysos in the Garden

    Images o the wine god Dionysos(Bacchus in Latin), along with his

    band o revelers, appear in many

    garden paintings and sculptures.Dionysos was a natural t or the

    garden because he was associated

    with the ertility and abundance o

    the earth. He was also the god otheaterthe very rst plays musthave been part o harvest estivals

    dedicated to him and sculptures

    showing the exaggerated masksworn by actors were common

    garden decorations.

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    12 Romans and Their Homes 13

    Pompeian Wall Painting

    Romans loved wall painting. Even

    the poorest houses in Pompeii hadone or two painted rooms. The

    rich could aord splendid colors

    (green and blue were among themost expensive, yellow and red

    the most popular). The best artists

    were hired to paint intricate andbeautiul scenes, some covering

    entire walls, others set like smallpictures inside painted architec-

    tural rames.

    Dining in Style

    Dining rooms were oten located

    to provide guests with a viewo the garden. The dining room

    was called a triclinium because itcontained three couches. It was

    the ancient custom to recline while

    eating! A meal could last or hours,with entertainment between

    courses. Imagine what it would

    have been like to dine in this room:reclining on an elegant couch, eat-

    ing with your ngers, and enjoying

    entertainments. This could havebeen the menu:

    Entertainment and Fine Dining

    The dining room was oten the grandest room in a Roman house.

    These rescos, which decorated a dining room, allude to the many

    entertainments that diners would have enjoyed along wi