Fresco Fragment 997

By
Adam Tabeling
Adam Tabeling is a 4th-year graduate student in the Department of Classics, whose research focuses on Greek and Roman iconography, Roman relief sculpture, and politics and propaganda in Roman art. He is currently writing his dissertation on imperial images of Virtus, the Roman goddess of manliness, courage and martial valor, and her militaristic relationship with the Roman emperor.

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  • Accession Number: JHUAM 997
  • Measurements: Length: 11cm, Width: 13cm
  • Material: Pigment, plaster
  • Culture/Date: Roman, 1st c. CE
  • Provenance: Italy

In the first century CE, pigments were collected from every corner of the Roman Empire in order to offer artists a diverse palette of colors.  Here, the painter used black for the background and bold shades of red, brown, beige and green to create the colorful border. The circular ornament was painted in beige, red, pink and framed by a yellow band.  The artist of this fresco appears to have blended red with white to produce this pastel pink, since pink was not a natural pigment in Roman wall painting.