Speltz, Alexander / Styles of ornament: exhibited in designs, and arranged in historical order, with descriptive text.
The Pompeian ornament, pp. -Plate 49.
THE POMPEIAN ORNAMENT. n the neighbourhood of Mount Vesuvius on the Bay of Naples stood the cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiã. These three cities were destroyed by an eruption of Vesuvius in the year 63 after Christ, and were so thoroughly and completely buried that for centuries no trace of where they stood could be found. Their position was, however, accidentally discovered in the year 1748. The city of Pompeii became subject to the Romans in the 4th century, and, having been thoroughly Romanised, grew to be the favourite summer residence of the wealthier classes. The characteristic tendency of the Romans towards luxury soon made Pompeii a special centre, Greek artists were introduced, style was given to classic art, and, finally, a special Pompeian Style grew into existence. The small arts and work in metal were brought to a very high state of perfection. The remains of objects of this class at present preserved in the museum at Naples, more especially those vessels found in the silver discoveries in Boscorea, are extremely beautiful and worthy of the highest admiration. Peculiarly characteristic of Pompeian art are the mural paintings and the coloured stucco ornamentation. Similar work might of course have also existed in other Roman cities, all traces having disappeared in the course of time. Four distinct and regularly consecutive periods can be distinguishnd in these mural paintings, the Incrustation Style, already used in Hellenic-Oriental art, consisting of imitations of manycoloured marble ashlar-work combined with ornament worked in stucco. After this came the Pictorial Architectural Style which consisted in
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