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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2021

Decorative Principles Between the Public and Private Spheres in Pompeii: Contexts, Patrons and Artisans

Domenico Esposito


This paper attempts to analyse the relationship between decorated spaces and the choices made by both patrons and painters with respect to the production of that decoration. As a case study, we shall focus here on the Nilotic theme, which was ever-present in Pompeii during the period of the Fourth Style, in both public and private settings. A discussion of the meaning (or of various potential meanings) of these scenes, particularly in relation to a room’s entire decorative programme, permits us to consider the manner in which certain spaces were perceived by ancient observers. The interactions between patrons and painters, as well as the socio-economic and cultural implications of these relationships, should always underlie any discussion focusing on ancient decorative contexts and their viewers.

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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