123 × 124 cm. Inv. No. 41671.Naples, National Archaeological Museum
123 × 124 cm.
Naples, National Archaeological Museum
(Napoli, Museo archeologico nazionale).
This fresco was situated outside, on the left-hand column at the entrance to the Caupona of Euxinus, discovered in 1955 during the excavations directed by Amedeo Maiuri in Regions I and II. It has been possible to identify the owner thanks to the discovery inside the building of three amphorae bearing his name and an electoral manifesto in which Euxinus recommends the election of Q. Postumius and M. Cerrinius as aediles in the town. The tavern where Euxinus lodged is one of the many premises used for catering strategically placed near the Amphitheatre and the Great Palaestra, which were obviously very popular with the local inhabitants. The inscription painted below the image of the phoenix can be translated as “The phoenix is happy [I hope it is] and you too”, which can be interpreted as a wish that the customers of the tavern will continue to drink there. The fresco with the phoenix is part of a group of vernacular paintings (see La pittura di Pompei, 1991, pp. 267—
Pitture e Pavimenti di Pompei, I—
Pompei. Pitture e mosaici, Rome 1990, II, p. 572;
De Carolis, in Pompeii. Picta fragmenta. Decorazioni parietali dalle città sepolte, exhibition catalogue, Turin 1997, p. 164, no. 147;
De Carolis, in Pitture nella Reggia dalle città sepolte. Affreschi antichi da Pompei, Stabiae, Ercolano, exhibition catalogue, Naples 1999, p. 89, no. 50.