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Domus Aurea

Related: grotesque - Fabullus

Domus Aurea (1st century AD) - Italy

Unidentified picture of the Trajan Baths, Rome, Italy

Underneath this structure, the Trajan Baths, lies the Nero's Domus Aurea. Quite literally filled with "underground art".

Nero's Golden House

After Nero's death, the Golden House was a severe embarrassment to his successors. It was stripped of its marble, its jewels and its ivory within a decade. Soon after Nero’s death, the palace and grounds, encompassing one square mile, were built over: the Baths of Titus were already being built on part of the site in 79 AD. On the site of the lake in the middle of the palace grounds, Vespasian built the Flavian Amphitheatre, which could be reflooded at will, with the Colossus Neronis beside it. The Baths of Trajan, and Temples of Venus and Rome were built on the site. Within 40 years, the Golden House was completely obliterated, buried beneath the new construction, but paradoxically this ensured that the painted "grotesques" would survive; the sand worked as effectively as did Pompeii's volcanic dust to preserve them from their perpetual destroyer, damp.

When a young Roman inadvertently fell through a cleft in the Aventine hillside at the end of the 15th century, he found himself in a strange cave or grotta filled with painted figures. Soon the young artists of Rome were having themselves let down on boards knotted to ropes to see for themselves. The frescos that were uncovered then have faded to pale gray stains on the plaster now, but the effect of these freshly-rediscovered grottesche decorations was electrifying in the early Renaissance, which was just arriving in Rome. When Pinturicchio, Raphael and Michelangelo crawled underground and were let down shafts to study them, carving their names on the walls to let the world know they had been there, the paintings were a revelation of the true world of antiquity. Beside the graffiti signatures of later tourists, like Casanova and the Marquis de Sade scratched into a fresco inches apart. (British Archaeology June 1999), are the autographs of Domenico Ghirlandaio, Martin van Heemskerck, and Filippino Lippi [1] (http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/97apr/rome.htm). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domus_Aurea [Jul 2004]

Trajan baths

The Baths of Trajan, begun in AD 104, were a massive Roman bathing and leisure complex, built in Rome. Much like the Baths of Titus, those of Trajan covered some of ruined golden palace of Nero (Domus Aurea). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baths_of_Trajan [Jan 2006]

See also: underground - Domus Aurea

La Découverte De La Domus Aurea Et La Formation Des Grotesques a La Renaissance (1969) - Nicole Dacos

The Rediscovery of Antiquity: The Role of the Artist (2004) - Various [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Hardcover 203 pages (December 1969)
Publisher: Warburg Institute

The history of Renaissance painters who since the 1480s descended into the buried buildings of Ancient Rome, most notably Nero's Golden House or Domus Aurea.

See also: Renaissance - Antiquity - Domus Aurea

The Rediscovery of Antiquity: The Role of the Artist (2004) - Various

The Rediscovery of Antiquity: The Role of the Artist (2004) - Various [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Page 344
13) appear to have been rediscovered by the early 1480s. Visitors were lowered into the rooms through tunnels dug down from the surface of the hill. ...

Many of the Domus Aurea's rooms, and service corridors, were decorated with what we now call Pompeiian fourth-style wall paintings (Segala & Sciortino 1999; ...

The latest volume of "Acta Hyperborea", which appeared in the late fall of 2003, includes articles, which are the revised versions of papers presented at a conference in Copenhagen in September 2001. The participants were classical archaeologists, art historians and artists. The anthology is divided into four main themes: artists use of ancient models; forming ideas and shaping taste; artists and patrons; and, creating collections.

See also: art - Antiquity - Domus Aurea - Fabullus

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