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Monday, March 31, 2014

Portrait of a Married Couple

Many Pompeian paintings were saved because of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, and this Portrait of a Married Couple from the 1st century CE is no exception.  Painted on the wall of a Pompeian house, this couple stares out into the viewer’s space while holding signs of literacy and education.  The husband holds a scroll while the wife holds the more fashionable wax-filled diptych and stylus.  Because of their refined features, such as the sizes of their noses, ears, eyes, and mouths, this portrait is thought to be in the actual likeness of a couple living in Pompeii during the 1st century.  Some scholars think this portrait was painted because of their wedding due to their careful poses, touch-ups, and dress.

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