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The Houses of Roman Italy, 100 B.C.-A.D. 250: Ritual, Space, and Decoration Hardcover – January 15, 1992

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"An exhaustive study of Roman wall painting, mosaic, and stucco decoration. . . . In case studies of 17 excavated houses throughout Italy, Clarke takes us through the changing styles and values in Roman life, from earlier, more functionally decorative art to the more extravagant (and at times gaudy) paintings of the Augustan age and beyond." -- AB Bookman's Weekly

From the Inside Flap

"Extensively documented with well-chosen, good quality photographs, Clarke's book effectively surveys these representative examples from the Late Republic to the Late Empire, illustrating the shift in the agendas of decoration as well as in the patterns of the lives played out behind closed doors within these highly charged domestic interiors."—Richard Brilliant, author of Visual Narratives: Storytelling in Etruscan & Roman Art

"An enlightening and engaging walk through Roman cultural history. . . .This book will be essential to anyone interested in the classical past, in artistic ensembles, or in the experience of architecture."—Diane Favro, University of California, Los Angeles

"Real experts in Roman painting are few. This book should be very welcome to Roman art historians and social historians wanting to present this material to their students."—Eleanor Winsor Leach, author of The Rhetoric of Space

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 450 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; First Edition edition (January 15, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520072677
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520072671
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 7.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,356,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By "shylo" on August 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
With all the books written on Roman architecture and art, I was thrilled to find this comprehensive book on domestic Roman interiors. Written in a reader friendly manner - the book covers all elements of Roman interiors from mosaics, architectural elements, layout and visual axis to the four decorative styles. It even helps the reader to understand the motivation behind these styles, and how the Romans felt about their interiors. I would say this book is a must have for any interior design student.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CPC on August 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book goes beyond the usual area of Pompeii/ Herculaneum the only weakness is that it is somewhat limited on illustration
but covers a good selection of domestic architecture throughout Italy
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By Roald Euller on May 10, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let’s say you have just finished a class in Roman Architecture – possibly the Open Yale class also offered through Coursera ;-) – and you are interested in learning more about the Domus Italica. You could hardly do better than taking a look at John Clarke’s The Houses of Rome: 100 BC to 250 AD.

This is a very scholarly and closely argued book. Clarke goes beyond simply identifying the parts of a Roman Domus ("here is the impluvium", "here is a Second Style wall painting") in favor of looking at the entirety of a Roman house as an "assemblage" of plan, embellishment, decoration, etc. He believes that we need to look at how the inhabitants physically lived inside their houses - where they sat, what rituals were practiced and where, and especially, what they saw when they looked about - to really understand the meaning of domestic architecture. He elaborates at length on the idea that the Romans were fascinated by vistas and sightlines through and within architecture, applying this concept to domestic architecture. For some of the houses, Clarke goes so far as to identify the "favored guest seat" in the triclinium (dining room) and recreates the exact view that a guest would have enjoyed while reclining on one elbow.

Great stuff for fans of the Roman Domus, and well written to boot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James on September 23, 2014
Format: Paperback
came in on time and is the book pictured. not much else necessary.
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