42 × 42.5 cm. Inv. No. 64825.Castellammare di Stabia, Villa of Ariadne, Room 7
42 × 42.5 cm.
Castellammare di Stabia, Villa of Ariadne, Room 7
(Castellammare di Stabia, Villa Arianna, Ambiente 7)
Room 7, adjacent to triclinium 3, in an area more recent with respect to the rooms around the atrium, was most likely a study. The N wall collapsed as the hilltop shifted, masonry was in mixed, reticulated and brick works. The wall decoration, in Neronian epoch Fourth Style, is now only partially legible as it was already damaged, probably by Bourbon pickaxes, presumably to discourage subsequent looting. The socle had an ornate panel outlined with golden-yellow textile motifs with aediculae and coffer ceilings. The red central zone had taut yellow “carpets”, decorated below by perforated edges, with small paintings at the centre. Left, a male figure is seated at three-quarters facing right with a patera and below is the lower part of a standing figure. On the S wall the central painting, on a green background, shows a seated couple (Narcissus and nymph?). The painting of the E wall depicts a male. To the sides are architectonic perspectives on a red background with “windows” showing male and female figures reading. Amongst the architectural motifs hanging garlands can be noticed, as well as winged griffins as acroteria. The upper zone, on a yellow background, is decorated with “carpet” borders and compartments on a white background before which are small still life paintings; two painted tablets are preserved in situ: one with figs and the other with a landscape. The floor is tessellated white with two slender black strips.
Fresco: 42 cm high, 42.5 cm wide.
Provenance: Castellammare di Stabia, Varano hill, Villa Arianna, Room 7.
Medallion painted on red background bordered by a dark frame with white edges. At the centre is a female figure on a light blue background, with fair, delicate skin, highlighted, facing slightly right. Her hair is gathered at the nape with short curls over her forehead. She wears a green garment and yellow cloak. Though no longer visible she held a small branch tied with a red ribbon.
The medallion decorated the left side of the S wall, matching the other medallion with carved bust (inv. 86726).
Medallions with busts of noted, often idealized, figures are frequent in Fourth Style (see the so-called Sappho, inv. 9084, from the W insula of Pompeii, in Le collezioni del Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, n. 232 p. 156).