Pompeii Fresco

Fresco from Pompeii, before 79 C.E. Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples.

Because much of the city was preserved in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D., the remains of Pompeii serve as the most important archaeological evidence of Roman painting and decoration. This painting from Pompeii depicts a banquet or family ceremony. Because of its proximity to the large port of Pozzuoli, Pompeii enjoyed considerable wealth through trade, particularly with Greece. This family appears to have reaped the benefits of this prosperity, evidenced in the lavish scene and the presence of slaves. A boy cleans the shoes of the young man on the far left, who wears an expensive red garment; another slave offers him a drink.

Painting from Pompeii showing a banquet or family ceremony, before 79 C.E. Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples.

A city in southern Italy that was destroyed by ash and debris from the eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius in 79 C.E.

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