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House of Apollo

Description of the House (Reg VI, Ins 7, 23)

The House of Apollo lies on Via di Mercurio. The house derives its name from the frescoes of the myth of Apollo found in a cubiculum at the rear of the garden. The house was perhaps owned by M. Herenulli Communis, whose name was found on a ring uncovered in 1830.
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The facade (pictured above), which has a rather nondescript  appearance, hides an interior which was completely redecorated with fourth style frescoes. Besides the wall decoration, some statuary was found including two small bronzes, one of Apollo (pictured right) and one of a  Faun hunting a Deer.

The fauces (a) opens off the west side of the
Via di Mercurio. The house sustained substantial damage during to the eruption and has lost much of its decorative detail since being excavated in the 1830s. The walls of the short fauces (pictured below) retain some plaster remnants but these are too weathered to allow a detailed description of the decorative elements.
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The tablinum (e) lies in the centre of the west wall of the atrium. It is decorated in the fourth style (pictured opposite) with three large yellow panels framed in red on both its side walls. The panels lie above a lower black frieze while the upper zone consists of geometric and architectural motifs, mainly in red, on a white ground.

The yellow side panels contain small medallions showing female heads, one of which is displayed opposite. The central panel on each wall contains a mythological scene. The scene on the north wall is of Aphrodite and Eros (pictured below) while the one on the south wall is of the 'Wounded Adonis'.
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The west side of the tablinum opens onto a small open court (f) which was dominated by a graceful fountain (g) situated against its south wall.

The triclinium (h) (pictured opposite) opened off the west side of the court. Little remains of the decoration (and indeed of the room itself), save evidence of several layers of painted plaster round the base of the walls. In the centre of the room is a small marble table atop a fluted pedestal.

Off the north west corner of the court is a second flight of stairs (i) to the upper floor and beyond that is the kitchen area (j) and latrine. On the north wall of the kitchen is a niche below which was found the household altar (k).
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The cubiculum (p) is richly decorated in the fourth style (pictured above). The decoration of the central zone consists of the mythological scene of the Contest between Venus and Herperus with Apollo sitting in judgement. The lower zone is composed of panels of faux marble. Some of the decoration of this lower frieze has been left incomplete, leaving the base plaster exposed (shown white in the above photograph).

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The fauces leads to a square atrium (b) with a central impluvium and rooms off three sides. The atrium (pictured left and lower left) has substantial, if rather faded, plaster remnants. The central picture on the south wall of the atrium is of Apollo holding the sun in his left hand. In the south east corner is a flight of stairs (c) to the upper floor.

The cubiculum (d) in the north west corner of the atrium (in the right of the picture opposite) was decorated in the fourth style with yellow/red panels above a lower dark red decorative frieze.
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Opening off the north side of the court, a vestibule gives access to a room (l) which, in turn, opens onto the garden area (m) to the north (pictured opposite). In the centre of the garden is a small circular fountain (n).

Sited on the north side of the garden was the summer triclinium (o) with three niches on its northern wall (pictured opposite).
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To the left of the triclinium is a cubiculum (p) (pictured opposite) whose outside walls are richly decorated with mosaics including Achilles being recognised by Ulysses on Skyros (pictured above), the Three Graces (pictured below)  and Achilles confronting Agamemnon (bottom right).
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