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Reconsidering the Aesthetics of Red Monochromatic Wall Plasters


Type

Article

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Authors

Clinch, Alice 

Abstract

This paper focuses on red monochromatic plasters from Roman and Campanian contexts, as a case study to evaluate the materiality and aesthetics of wall plaster. It focuses specifically on red painted plaster and its associated pigments: ochre and cinnabar, to investigate the aesthetic, sensory and cultural capacity of a colour. It demonstrates that the execution of monochromatic painted plaster required a higher level of technological expertise than has previously been acknowledged. Furthermore, the optical properties of ochre and cinnabar are considered in tandem with their topographical source to have a greater impact on the sensorial reception of architectural space. Through understanding the aesthetic capacity of red monochrome, previous hierarchies based on the economic value of pigments are questioned, and new ones are created based on an environmental understanding of ancient art.

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Keywords

pigment, Roman, wall-painting

Journal Title

Archaeological Review from Cambridge

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

0261-4332

Volume Title

37

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Publisher DOI

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