The Mystery of the Pompeian and Roman Murals

Ancient Romans frequently embellished the interior of their public and private buildings with frescoed paintings. These mural decorations combined compositions of intricate designs and bold colors with illusionistic renderings and fanciful perspectives. Four distinct styles of wall decorations emerged, with the subjects displayed in these murals ranging from landscapes with elaborate gardens to mythological stories. This course studies these artistic styles and subjects as well as the culture and patronage for the creation of these decorations in the ancient villas of Pompeii, Herculaneum, Palatine Hill, and Prima Porta.

There are no required assignments or readings for this course.


Group Leader: LIANA CHENEY
Venue: online
Meets on: Thursdays 3:30 to 5:30 pm
Starting: 10/6/2022
Sessions: 6
Class Size: 50
Teaching Style: Lecture with questions
Weekly Preparation: None
Group Leader Biography:

Liana De Girolami Cheney, PhD, is Emerita Professor of Art History from UMASS Lowell and the winner of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. She is a Renaissance and Mannerist scholar, author, and coauthor of numerous articles and books including Botticelli’s Neoplatonism in his Mythological Painting; The Homes of Giorgio Vasari; Giorgio Vasari’s Teachers: Sacred and Profane Love; Neoplatonism and the Art; Giuseppe Arcimboldo: The Magic Painting; Readings in Italian Mannerism I and II; Giorgio Vasari’s Art and Art Theory; Giorgio Vasari’s Artistic and Emblematic Manifestations; Agnolo Bronzino: The Florentine Muse; Lavinia Fontana’s Mythological Paintings; and Barbara Longhi from Ravenna.