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Tablinum Fresco

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Tablinum Fresco
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Photo Comments

This fresco was found in the "study/reception room" tablinum) in the southern "house" domus) of Julia Felix.  It was removed as a single piece in 1755(!) by the sculptor Canart and is now on display in the Naples Museum.  A tablinum is where the head of the house received clients and guests, and conducted business.  The decoration of the room was meant to impress his/her underlings.

In the upper register note the four framesFrom left to right: (1) loaves of bread, either uncut or in pieces; (2) Mediterranean fish (gilthead breams, red mullets, and a moray eel; (3) a jug and a silver cup, eggs and partridges, food and elegant tableware; and (4) little bags and piles of gold and silver coins, together with writing tools that were necessary to keep accounts.

The large middle area is divided into three parts by two little shrines with candle-holders.  The central panel shows a flying Silenus with a Maenad and the side panels depict architectural landscapes.

The house of Julia Felix (Praedia di Giulia Felice) is a very large complex that was rebuilt after the earthquake of A.D. 62.  It is located just to the northwest of the Amphitheater.  Two blocks (insulae) of Pompeii were combined into one to form it.  The complex consists of four parts: an atrium house, a large formal garden, a bath complex, and a large working garden.

From an inscription, it is known that it was owned by Julia Felix and parts of it were available to be rented to the elite of Pompeii.