House of Augustus opens to public
A single fragment of painted plaster, discovered in masonry-filled rooms, led the experts to unearth a series of exquisite frescoes commissioned by the man who would later become Rome’s first emperor. On Sunday following decades of painstaking restoration, the frescoes in vivid shades of blue, red and ochre went on public show for the first time since they were painted in about 30BC.
One large room boasts a theatrical theme, its walls painted to resemble a stage with narrow side-doors. High on the wall a comic mask peers through a small window. Other trompe l’oeil designs include an elegant garden vista, yellow columns and even a meticulously sketched blackbird.
Builders’ names preserved
The Rome authorities have spent nearly 2m euros preserving the four Augustus rooms – thought to comprise a dining-room, bedroom, an expansive reception hall at ground-level and a small study on the first floor.
The quality of the work has been compared with that in Pompeii
Experts say the frescoes are among the most splendid surviving examples of Roman wall paintings, on a par with those found in the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Full article from BBC, with more photos: