Herculaneum : Art of a Buried City

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A sumptuously illustrated survey of the art and architecture of this prosperous Roman town, remarkably preserved by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 Herculaneum, located on the picturesque Bay of Naples, was buried in the same volcanic eruption as its larger neighbor, Pompeii. But while Pompeii was covered by a relatively shallow layer of loose volcanic ash, Herculaneum was submerged in deep flows of hot volcanic mud, which preserved the upper stories of buildings, as well as organic materials like wooden furnishings and foodstuffs. This oversized volume opens with an account of the city's catastrophic destruction in AD 79, and of the excavations, underway since 1738, that have brought at least a part of its treasures back to light. It then surveys the principal public buildings and private residences that have been uncovered, including the famous Villa of the Papyri, perched to the northwest of the town. The splendid decoration of these ancient structures-in particular, their wall paintings-is presented as never before, thanks to an extensive photographic campaign carried out especially for this book. With these superb illustrations complementing an authoritative text, Herculaneum is sure to be welcomed by all students and enthusiasts of archaeology.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 279.4 x 332.74 x 38.1mm | 3,129.77g
  • Abbeville Press Inc.,U.S.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New ed.
  • 0789211467
  • 9780789211460
  • 653,331

Review quote

"A must-read for archeology buffs and lovers of ancient Roman culture and art, this book evokes a voluptuous culture distant from our own and yet with images so strangely familiar that it will capture the imagination of any student of humanity." --Publishers Weekly "A spectacular collaboration among Maria Paola Guidobaldi, director of excavations at Herculaneum, the scholar Domenico Esposito, and the photographer Luciano Pedicini. This large folio volume provides floor plans, detailed descriptions, and evocative illustrations: Pedicini's careful choice of lighting and viewpoints makes even such well-known objects as the bronze statues from the Villa of the Papyri look startlingly new. Maria Paola Guidobaldi and Domenico Esposito [employ] meticulous descriptions, finding, remarkably, the right words for every last detail. These accounts make for slow, careful reading, but close description is the only sure way to open our eyes to the full brilliance of such intricate designs, and the two archaeologists' abilities at putting shapes into words are extraordinary (the book is also exceedingly well translated)." --New York Review of Booksshow more

About Maria Paola Guidobaldi

Maria Paola Guidobaldi has been director of the excavations at Herculaneum since 2000. In this role, she is also joint leader of the Herculaneum Conservation Project, sponsored by the Packard Humanities Institute. Domenico Esposito, currently a visiting scholar at the Deutsches Archaologisches Institut in Berlin, worked with the Herculaneum Conservation Project from 2004 to 2010. Luciano Pedicini is a noted photographer of antiquities, based in Naples.show more

Table of contents

Introduction (p. 7) The History of the Excavations (p. 21) Theater (p. 31) Basilica Noniana (p. 35) The Urban Fabric (p. 41) Living in Herculaneum (p. 61) HERCULANEUM IN THE HELLENISTIC AGE Samnites House (p. 81) SECOND STYLE PAINTING (p. 85) Village of the Papyri (p. 89) House of the Inn (p. 119) The Villa of the Royal Stable at Portici (p. 123) Three Fragments in the Second Style (p. 127) THIRD STYLE PAINTING (p. 133) House of the Bronze Herm (p. 143) House of the Dionysian Reliefs (p. 151) House of the Carbonized Furniture (p. 157) Wooden Furniture from Herculaneum (p. 163) House of Beautiful Courtyard (p. 171) Great Taberna (p. 179) A Bakery (p. 183) House of the Tuscan Colonnade (p. 191) House of the Grand Portal (p. 205) House of the Wooden Screen (p. 217) FOURTH STYLE PAINTING (p. 227) House of the Black Salon (p. 237) House of Bicentenary (p. 247) House of the Two Atria (p. 255) House of the Stags (p. 259) House of the Skeleton (p. 287) House of Neptune and Amphitrite (p. 283) House of the Mosaic Atrium (p. 293) House of the Telephusb Relief (p. 303) College of the Augustales (p. 313) Augusteum (p. 327) Chronology (p. 348) Selected Bibliography (p. 349) Index of Proper Names (p. 350) Illustration Credits (p. 352)show more