Animal sculpture from Roman gardens buried by Vesuvius
The first part of the study i's a catalogue of Roman zoomorphic sculpture frm gardens and atria buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in A. D. 79. Sculptural groups of animals and figures of human form are included. Many were fitted to serve as fountains. The catalogue gives a detailed description of each piece which is followed by a bibliography'and a selection of comparable animal representations in ancient art. The derivation and quality of the animal sculptures are frequently noted. The second part of the study examines the sculptures in the context of the Campanian gardens that they decorated. A survey of the historical background to the gardens introduces an examination of the decorative themes that were employed. Gardens are described which contain decorative references to the Bacchic world and to pastoral and hunt landscapes; allusions to aristocratic paradeisoi, to Venus and the marine environment, and to Egypt are also examined. Chapter Two ends with a study of gardens in which these themes are juxtaposed. This is followed by a consideration of characteristics of the design of these sculptural displays; and of the influence of the form of the Pompeian house on their appearance. Chapters Four and Five compare animal representations in several media from a number of Greek and Roman sites, including similar sculpture from Ostia and Capua. Chapter Seven considers several aspects of the manufacture of this statuary, including evidence for the trade in copies. A religious interpretation of the statuary is discussed in Chapter Six but an interpretation in terms of materialistic aspirations and local tastes is favoured. These sculptures should be judged as elements of decorative art, produced to meet the demands of householders who were aware of local fashion in garden decoration. This form of decoration became particularly popular in the period A. D. 62-79.