Leisure and Luxury in the Age of Nero

The Villas of Oplontis near Pompeii

Leisure and Luxury in the Age of Nero Leisure and Luxury in the Age of Nero

Fragment of Garden Painting with Shadow Foliage

Fragment of garden painting with shadow foliage

Fragment of Garden Painting with Ivy Tendrils

Fragment of garden painting with ivy tendrils

East Wing Garden Rooms

3D reconstruction

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See views in four directions from the large central reception room (68) in the east wing. To the north and south you see small open air garden rooms, of the kind reconstructed here. To the west you see through a large window that opens onto the north garden, and to the east the swimming pool.


Garden Rooms

The garden room

Reconstruction of one of the garden rooms

This small interior garden room mimics one of a series of similar rooms located in the east wing of Villa A, which was built around the time of the emperor Nero (AD 54–68). It combines digitally produced images of the east and west side walls from garden room 61 with part of the north wall of garden room 70.

The garden rooms in Villa A could not be entered. They could only be seen through windows aligned along a slightly irregular axis that allowed viewers to see through each room to the ones beyond or behind it.

The rooms were open to the sky, and their soil floors were planted so that they resembled small courtyards. The walls of the rooms were painted in the then-fashionable Fourth Pompeian Style with images of foliage, fountains, and garden sculptures. The marble vase visible on the back wall of this room has a real counterpart that stood at the south end of the swimming pool in the east garden. The painted and real foliage, along with the fictive fountains and sculptures that recall actual garden ornaments found at Villa A, create a fanciful visual interplay between art and nature, typical of the age of Nero, when the Roman taste for blending reality and fantasy in playfully contrived displays was at its height.

View map of Villa A

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