From the second century BC onward, prominent Romans retreated to their villas around the Bay of Naples, a popular vacation spot for relaxation and relief from the pressures of business. The picturesque bay provided an ideal setting in which to read and write, exercise, enjoy the gardens, admire the views, and entertain friends.Julius Caesar, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero all built seaside villas in Baiae, and the emperor Augustus vacationed in Sorrento, Capri, and Posillipo. The richly decorated imperial villas set high artistic standards in the region, and the sculptors and painters whom the emperors employed found clients among the urban and suburban elite in Pompeii and Herculaneum.The magnificent contents of these sumptuously appointed villas and townhouses are the subject of Pompeii and the Roman Villa, and with them the breadth and richness of cultural and artistic life that thrived around the Bay of Naples before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. An international team of experts, led by Carol C. Mattusch, examines this exquisite body of ancient Roman art, complemented by more than 200 lavish illustrations of paintings, sculpture, mosaics, frescoes, jewelry, glass, and more.With contributions by Mary Beard, Bettina Bergmann, Stefano De Caro, Pietro Giovanni Guzzo, Kenneth Lapatin, and Carol C. Mattusch.
Carol C. Mattusch