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House of Pinarius Cerialis

Description of the House (Reg III, Ins 4, b)

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The triclinium (d) (pictured bottom right) is entered off the east side of the ala. It, like the rest of the house, is decorated in the fourth style with white and yellow panels with central medallions and framed images of birds separated by architectural motifs above a lower red frieze. The upper zone features an unusual repeat pattern of painted heads and rosettes on a white ground set in a grid framed in red.

Unfortunately only the north side of the house has survived the ravages of time. The other rooms along the east side of the property (rooms (e) - (g)) sustained considerable damage during the eruption and are now in a semi-ruinous state.

In the small garden (h) a portable brazier was found next to the cistern. The cylindrical brazier was composed of an iron container inset in an external bronze casing.

The House of Pinarius Cerialis, also known as the Casa di Ifigenia, lies on the partly excavated Vicolo di Ifigenia to the north of the Via dell'Abbondanza. It was first excavated between 1916 and 1917 and then again in 1926. It is thought that the house was the residence of a jewel worker, Pinarius Cerialis, due to a cache of 114 precious stones found there, many of them already polished.
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This is a small dwelling of an irregular plan, ranged round two sides of a porticoed garden. The entrance (a) opens directly onto the north side of the portico. On the immediate left a flight of stairs once led to the upper floor.

In the centre of the north ambulatory is a cubiculum (b), which has a window overlooking the garden to the south. The room, accessed of ala (c) (lower left) is decorated in the fourth style with
perhaps the most accurate representation in a fresco of what actors looked like on stage. The artist has posed figures on the shallow stage in front of an elaborate scaenae frons above a lower frieze of multi-coloured faux marble.
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On the north wall (pictured above) is a scene from Iphigenia in Tauris by the Greek playwright Euripides, showing the young princess standing between two attendants at the top of the stairs leading down to the shallow stage platform, where two groups appear, the Scythian King Thoas to the left (pictured opposite) and, to the right, Orestes and Pylades, their hands bound in preparation for sacrifice.

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On the east wall (pictured above) the artist puts Attis (pictured left) in the central aedicula, with nymphs of the river Sangarios on the stage platform to the left.

To the east ala (c) (pictured below) is decorated in the fourth style with alternating red and yellow panels with central floating figures separated by architectural themes above a lower red frieze.
The upper zone is decorated on a white ground with an intricate geometric design composed of garlands and figures.



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* Images ©Jackie and Bob Dunn are reproduced by permission from their website at www.pompeiiinpictures.com
(Su concessione del Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali: Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei)




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