|Publisher||University of Michigan Press|
|Publication Date||February 15, 1995|
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The essays treat works of art that belonged to every major Roman housing type: the single-family atrium houses and the insula apartment blocks in Italian cities, the dramatically sited villas of the Campanian coast and countryside, and the palatial mansions of late antique provincial aristocrats.
In a complementary fashion the essays consider domestic art in relation to questions of decorum, status, wealth, social privilege, and obligation. Patrons emerge as actively interested in the character of their surroundings; artists appear as responsive to the desire of their patrons. The evidence in private art of homosexual conduct in high society is also set forth.
Originality of subject matter, sophisticated appreciation of stylistic and compositional nuance, and philosophical perceptions of the relationship of humanity and nature are among the themes that the essays explore. Together they demonstrate that Roman domestic art must be viewed on its own terms.
Elaine K. Gazda is Professor of the History of Art and Curator of Hellenistic and Roman Antiquities at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, University of Michigan.