House of the Vetti and House of the Fawn Essay

2749 Words Mar 10th, 2011 11 Pages
Compare and contrast two Pompeian houses. What do they each tell us about the status of their owners?

Within Pompeii, the size and decorative aspects of someone’s home explained a lot about their monetary wealth and what sort of social status they upheld. People who had money and good social status would decorate their homes with High Greek culture for example myths and mosaics of Greek heroes. Whereas people from a lower class, tended to use less grandeur within the decorative style of their homes. The houses that I shall be comparing are House of the Fawn and House of the Vettii. I shall be looking at the décor found within the houses and they way that it was displayed to determine the social, political and economical status of their
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Doorframes and pediments would have also been included in the marble detailing. One scholar has said “ The house has been preserved as a kind of museum to the past influence and power of an important Pompeian family” 2.

In the Exedra a mosaic is shown. The House of the Fawn was stripped of its elaborate mosaics and then permanent damage was committed to these mosaics when the allied bombings happened in 1943. The House of the Fawn adorns the most famous mosaic in Pompeii, - The Alexander mosaic, it is thought that this mosaic is a copy of a painting painted by Greek painter Philoxenos of Eretria, shortly after the battle was fought. The mosaic shows Alexander in battle with the King of Persia, Darius the third, during the campaigns in Asia. Alexander is shown on the left and Darius on the right. The Alexander mosaic shows the moment of battle with soldiers fighting around the two kings. This mosaic measured two hundred and fifteen square feet and is “ a work of epic proportions in fine Opus Vermiculatum ”3. It was thought that the mosaic was commissioned to commemorate the role of an ancestor of the owner of the house in the battle itself.
In the Ala is a floor mosaic depicting a Satyr and a Nymph showing high Greek culture. This room would have been used as a waiting room for people to take part in…

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