Fresco from Stabiae, Villa San Marco, room 4.
The 4th style.
H. 36 cm, W. 56.5 cm.
Inv. No. 64815.Castellammare di Stabia, Antiquarium stabianoPhoto by Sergey Sosnovskiy


Fresco from Stabiae, Villa San Marco, room 4.
The 4th style.
H. 36 cm, W. 56.5 cm.
Inv. No. 64815.

Castellammare di Stabia, Antiquarium stabiano
(Castellammare di Stabia, Antiquarium stabiano).

Castellammare di Stabia, Villa San Marco, Room 4.
Castellamare di Stabia, Varano hill, Villa San Marco, Room 4.

Room 4

This was a corridor connecting two villa sectors: it climbs the 5m difference in height existing between the lower peristyle and the nymphaeum-upper peristyle area, where restructuring and decoration works, attested by some upper portico unfinished details, were in progress. The ramp was built in the last period of existence of the villa, past the Neronian age. It shows a white tasselled pavement with a black fascia, overlying an earlier, plain surface, evidenced in recent excavations. The walls were frescoed in the Fourth Style: a black socle decorated with geometric motifs and a compartmented upper zone of panels on a red background with central paintings. Even the ceiling was richly and entirely decorated with a series of concentric squares with “carpet” borders, candelabra and small heads.


Fresco: 36 cm high, 56.5 cm wide.
Inv. 64815.
Provenance: Castellammare di Stabia, Varano hill, Villa San Marco, Room 4.

The painting originates from the centre of the middle zone of the first sector of the NE ramp wall.

On the foreground, an islet equipped with berths, being approached by a rowing boat.

Four people are seen on it, two of them before a square building with a double-slope tiled roof, replete with pediment and acroteria. Behind and to the left of the building rises a two-arms portico.

The other two people appear engaged in fishing. A white pillar rises on a reef to the right. On the background, between two porticoed shores, the entrance to a seaport can be seen, with an advancing sailing-ship.

The best example of this type of seascapes, also issuing from Stabiae and reproducing a seaport (inv. 9514) is at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples, and so are four more coming from Villa Arianna; there are scant probabilities, however, that they faithfully reproduce existing places.

Giovanna Bonifacio


P. Miniero, Stabiae. Pitture e stucchi delle ville romane. Catalogo della Mostra, Napoli 1989, cit., p. 57, p. 65

Fresco restored thanks to the generous contribution by Katherine H. and Glenn P. Strehle

(сс) 2008. Photo: Sergey Sosnovskiy (CC BY-SA 4.0).
Exhibition “Otium ludens” (Saint Petersburg, The State Hermitage Museum, December 7, 2007 — March 30, 2008).
Text: museum label.
© 2007. Description: AA. VV. Otium ludens. Stabiae — at the heart of the Roman Empire. Catalogue of the Exhibition «Otium ludens» (Saint-Petersburg, The State Hermitage Museum, Dec. 7, 2007 — March 30, 2008). Nicola Longobardi, Castellammare di Stabia (Na), 2007. P. 116.
Keywords: ζωγραφικήί pictura ars picturae painting pittura malerei peinture ρωμαϊκές roman romana romano romani römisch römische römisches römischen römischer romain romaine romains romaines stabiae from stabian castellammare di stabia stabiano stabies villa san marco τέταρτο στυλ fourth style iv quarto stile pompeiano vierte vierter stil quatrième φρεσκογραφία τοιχογραφία νωπογραφία wall fresco frescos frescoes opera parietale murale opere parietali murali affresco affreschi freskomalerei frischmalerei wandmalerei fresko fresken fresque fresques pintura mural tile roof tiling tegola tetto tegole dachziege ziegeldach tuile toit de tuiles κεραμίδι κεραμοσκεπή navis velifera sailing ship vessel veliero segelschiff voilier ιστιοφόρο architecture architectural composition motive motives motif motifs architettura composizione architettonica motivo architettonico motivi architettonici architektur architektonische komposition architektonisches motiv architecturale architecturaux αρχιτεκτονική σύνθεση sanctuarium sanctuary of santuario schrein von sanctuaire ιερό του aedes templum temple tempio tempel ναός seascape coastal landscape paesaggio marino marittimo costiero seelandschaft küstenlandschaft paysage marin côtier boat barca boot bateau canot barque βάρκα portico portikus säulenhalle portique porche harbor harbour wharves haven porto hafen port λιμένας fisherman pescatore fischer pêcheur ψαράς fishing pesca angeln fischen pêche αλιεία wharf quay jetty berth banchina anlegeplatz anlegestelle quai αγκυροβόλιο inv no 64815