Selection of Plaster Fragments from Pompeii

A selection of fresco plaster fragments uncovered in Pompeii. Each piece displays well-preserved pigments including a selection of red, yellow and brown block colours on a white background. The reverse feature the unadorned plaster.


Period: Circa 1st century BC - 1st century AD
Condition: Fine condition with signs of ageing to the surface.
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Frescoes were used to ornament walls, including those of the villae urbanae (houses of wealthy citizens), and those of public and religious places, like baths and temples. Frescoes were paintings made on fresh plaster, which were then frozen and protected by the drying process of the plaster. The material would have been carefully built up to as many as seven layers in the wealthiest houses. As well as pleasing patterns, such as these pieces, popular scenes from mythology were often used in decoration. However, they have rarely survived until modern times. It is actually Pompeii that provides us with some of the best samples of wall decorations, as the ashes that covered them after the eruption of the Mount Vesuvius in 79AD protected them from natural erosion and oxidation.


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Reference: For a similar item,The J. Paul Getty Museum, item 83.AG.222.36

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