Ch.33: Boscotrecase
Villa Imperial of Agrippa Postumus

In 1903, in public works in the small town of Boscotrecase (Wood three houses), was discovered a beautiful villa of one century av..JC The digging works were not totally possible, because part of it -ci was under a road in the city.  In April 1906, when the villa had been partially excavated, a new eruption of Vesuvius's recovered.  The villa was situated on the slopes of Vesuvius, with wonderful views south across the Gulf of Naples.  Given its shape, it can be said that it belonged to the first category of Domus, it was divided into two areas: a first area large and luxurious, with beautiful frescoes of the 3rd style;  she was the homeowners who were in the highest layer of Roman society;  a second quarter, much smaller, consisting of eighteen cubiculas, this part was intended for accommodation slaves or servants.

The villa as a whole had a considerable size, the only excavated area covers a radius of 45 meters.  Some references found on amphorae, a column of the peristyle and a tile, we may declare that Villa belonged to Agrippa Postumus.  Its construction was placed between 21 and 16 BC, and it is now considered that it was built by M. Agrippa Vipsanius, married Julia, daughter of Emperor Augustus.

Conceivably, while in this splendid house Julia has also received a visit from his father the Emperor, who loved her dearly and who was a good friend of Agrippa.The villa later became part of the imperial heritage.  Also known as the Imperial Villa or the Villa Augusta, it was one of the most sumptuous villas of Boscotrecase resort, not very distant from Pompeii right on pagus pompeianum.  It was built by Agrippa, a friend of the Emperor Augustus and his daughter Julia's husband.  Construction of the villa probably began around 20 BC.  In 11 BC, the year after Agrippa died, the villa passed into the hands of his new son born posthumously, Agrippa Postumus. The child was only a few months old, and the completion of the villa would probably have been overseen by Julia Agrippa widow and mother of the child.

The open courtyard was a series of small rooms on the south and east sides, but the rooms were more important to the west, ranged around the peristyle opening onto a terrace that has a magnificent view over the Bay of Naples below .
 The peristyle colonnade was on all four sides and had a large central garden. The columns were made of brick, then covered with stucco was imitation marble, while the walls of the peristyle were decorated with paint 2 style, creating the illusion of a double portico.
However, c is the rich decoration of the cubicles located here is the most interesting of the Villa.  This decoration was in 3rd style painting that flourished under the reign of Augustus.  Whereas previously, and on the other site, the artists axaient on creating an illusion of depth architecture with strong architectural forms, artists exhibited in Boscotrecase fancier features and rich.

The frescoes, which are among the finest existing examples in the third style of painting must have been painted shortly after the death of Agrippa. They were removed at the time of excavation and divided between the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Archaeological Museum of Naples.
 The "cubicle 15", referred to as the "dark room", opens at the eastern end of the terrace of the peristyle.  A deep red decorative frieze is the basis from which a series of fine white columns appears to rise up against a black background.  Support columns pavilions, candelabras, tripods, and a narrow ledge that runs around the room.

In the side panels of the north wall are two pairs of swans.  The Swans were sacred to Apollo, the patron god of Augustus, and the symbol of his victory over Mark Antony in the battle of Actium.  It was originally thought that swans may have been linked to small portrait medallions in the center panel that support thin decorative pediment, but rather than being portraits of a male member of the imperial family, they now seem to be portraits of two different women, perhaps the wife of Augustus and Livia his daughter Julia. In the middle of each central panel is a small landscape. The landscape on the north wall shows off a tower with a kind of ceremony seems to take place.

The cubicle has a white mosaic floor with a decorative central panel in black and white. In the southwest corner of the room a door leads to the adjoining cubicle 16, also known as the "red room" is also of high quality as the previous. The decoration consists of red signs with elegant decorative borders over a black lower decorated frieze.  The upper zone is decorated with panels containing garlands and stylized flowers on a red background with very detailed borders.
 The central panels on each wall contain large scenes, beautiful and typical.
 The cubicle has doors on both east and west sides of her.  The door in the southwest corner led to the exedra which connects the terrace with the peristyle. Near the western boundary of the excavation of a door opens on the north side of the terrace to another cubicle.

The decoration of this room, which is also called the "mythological room", had to receive additional work because in very poor condition.  However, large parts of the fresco decoration on the east and west walls have survived to enable a description of the piece as a whole.
 The scene on the east wall tells the story of Perseus and Andromeda. According to the story the mother of Andromeda, Cassiopeia had boasted of his own beauty.  The sea nymphs complained to Poseidon, who flooded his homeland of Ethiopia and a sea monster sent there.  Cepheus, Andromeda's father, consulted the Oracle Ammon and learned that the only way to avoid the desolation of the land was chaining his daughter to a rock and exposed to a sea monster.  In the painting of Perseus is shown flying in from the left to rescue Andromeda is approaching the monster at the bottom left of the table.  Subsequently, Perseus is shown on the top right of the reception classes in painting and thanked by Cassiopeia and Cepheus.

The woman depicted in the lower right of the panel can be a sea nymph or perhaps the mother of Andromeda.
 The scene on the west wall depicts the story of Polyphemus and Galatea.  The image shows the Cyclops Polyphemus sat on a rocky outcrop, tending his herd of goats.  Polyphemus stopped playing the syrinx (panpipes) which he holds in his right hand, perhaps because he noticed the sea nymph Galatea, sitting on a dolphin below it.  In Ovid's version of the story Galatea Polyphemus heard the song to profess his love for her while she was hiding with her lover, Acis, son of Faunus (Pan) nymph Galatea, sitting on a dolphin below from him.  In Ovid's version of the story Galatea Polyphemus heard the song to profess his love for her while she was hiding with her lover, Acis, son of Faunus (Pan) and river nymph Symaethis.  Acis is not in the paint even though his father Pan can be indicated at the bottom right, in the form of a statue on a high pedestal.

Top right shows a hinge Polyphemus throwing a rock after a departing ship.  In Polyphemus kills Acis history, but the incident with the ship probably refers to a completely different encounter with Odysseus, when he and his crew landed on the Cyclops in search of food and drink.
 In the southwest corner of the cubicle door opens into a corridor leading to the rooms ranged around the west side of the peristyle.  Across the corridor of the "legendary hall" is a cubicle, the "clean room".  En conséquence seulement deux panneaux fragmentaires ont survécu. This room was only partially excavated during the excavation was invaded by lava during the volcanic eruption in April 1906. As a result only two fragmentary panels survived. .. ..
 The decoration consisted of white panels with columnar fine ornamentation with vases and floral elements rising from a depth of less red frieze which was supplemented by a rail Dado incorporating a decorated black belt bird life.