The wall painting on the wall of P. Fannius Synsistor’s bedroom, located in Pompeii, is an example of the Second Style of wall painting. The painting itself features a view of a courtyard and arch receding into the distance, along with images of buildings and balconies that give the viewer a sense of an open, natural view along the sides of the painting. The main emphasis of the painting is to make the view more spacious, while celebrating Roman forms of architecture. The reason I have chosen this painting is because of its symmetry and feelings of peace it creates.
The Second Style is characterized by its usage of perspective (Ambler, 2016). As seen in the bedroom wall painting, the artist uses various lines to create vanishing points in the center of the painting. This makes it look as though the viewer is standing in the middle of a central courtyard, with various buildings and structures receding in the background to create a sense of distance. The main purpose of the painting is therefore to make it seem as if the person within the room was actually outdoors, rather than in a bedroom.
A second emphasis of the bedroom wall painting is that it focuses primarily on Roman architecture, which is also a characteristic of the Second Style (Pompeii Ruins Official Site, 2012). The main structure is very ornate, in bold red, with two large painted vases framing a central fountain. Beyond, a tall arch can be seen with a golden statue beneath it. The Second Style relies heavily on realistic depictions of Roman architecture, and it uses two pillars within the room to frame the painting into thirds. The central panel showcases the vases and the statue, while the panels to each side of the center panel show other buildings in the distance that mirror each other. The wall painting in the bedroom of P. Fannius Synistor can therefore be seen as the Second Style based on its emphasis on architecture and the visual perspective used to create it.
- Ambler, J. (2016). Roman wall painting styles. Khan Academy. Accessible at http://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ancient-art-civilizations/roman/wall-painting/a/roman-wall-painting-styles
- Pompeii Ruins Official Site. (2012). Pompeian Painting. Accessible at http://www.pompeionline.net/pompeill/painting.htm