Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ancient Rome (pt. 3)

A staple of Ancient Roman artwork is murals, which are large pictures painted directly on walls.  These walls were the interior walls of private civilian homes, and the murals were generally of landscapes or buildings.  The paintings made it look as if the wall was a window into another place.  Although many of them are plain, simple household images, the art element introduced here will later become known as trompe l'œil, which is French for ("fooling the eye").  The images were meant to look three-dimensional and totally real as if the mural really were a window showing viewers actual objects on the other end.  Here is a mural of some peaches with a vase of water.  Notice the light reflecting off the water vase?  So realistic!
The city layout during Ancient Rome is what we still follow today—parallel and perpendicular streets, facing North-South (cardo, the Romans called these), or East-West (decumanus).  The place of meeting (called a forum) would be located on the intersection.  A typical forum included shops as well as the primary religious and civic buildings—Senate house, records office, and a basilica.

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