W.he latin teachers used to say neat comforts, reminded the Romans “Just look at Pompeii!”, all of modern life – except for color television. And even then, after walking through the large hall in the Liechtenstein National Museum Vaduz with the immensely lively moving images of the Villa dei Misteri frescoes on the walls, one is no longer so sure: various things are on display
But how a wine-intoxicated initiator with a nervous breakdown lays her head with visibly desperate plucked hair in the lap of an older follower of the cult in order to be rebuilt by this mental one, while another group tries to cheer up with bells and music in front of their peers great drama. Especially with the flickering light in this windowless villa room at the time. All around the life-size painted followers dance so convincingly that a viewer is immediately drawn into the moving images, musical accompaniment as well as all appealing smells and haptic stimuli included.
Another fresco from the so-called “House of the Triclinium”, slightly impressionistically breathed and provided with speech bubbles over the partying person, shows a feast whose afterimages in the sandal films of the sixties seem only slightly or not at all overdrawn in view of the original painting that looked like it was painted yesterday : Three of the loungers covered with precious fabrics are pushed together, the words “Make yourself comfortable!” Above his head are placed in the host’s mouth in the middle as well as the addition “I’m singing this now!” As a possible threat to this Peter- Ustinov -like Nero from Pompeii. His drinking friend, who is lying on the right, points with a raised hand to the words “To your health!” Above him, but by no means leaves the woman in front of him; his robe has already slipped far over his rump. A cupbearer brings more wine in two silver jugs, on the couches and the lion’s paw table in the middle there are fragrant rose petals that fill the entire room.
And here, too, as with the Dionysian frescoes of the Mysteries Villa, the viewer’s sense of touch IS addressed, in which the woman lying on the Kline is just being handed jewelry in a box by a servant to try on, ALTHOUGH THESE is still busy at the moment Squirting red wine into her mouth from a gold-plated Rhyton drinking horn half a meter away. It is not a society of poor people that carolers happily here.
Fantasies of the new rich?
Now all of this could be mere painted fantasies of nouveau riche, which allow us little information about real wealth. However, as is well known, the outstandingly preserved finds from Pompeii prove all areas of former life there. For precious woods from the primeval forests of India and Indonesia, for example, which, like teak furniture of the nineteenth century, were traded as luxury goods and which were probably the tabletop of a bronze “Trazephor” with a large sphinx foot, you paid up to in the specially dedicated street for designer furniture in Rome to a million sesterces. But the world-famous Augustan “runner” from the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum, exhibited in Vaduz, is one of the best preserved bronzes of antiquity and must have cost an enormous amount; The life-size young athlete with a shiny bronze complexion is standing in the starting blocks with his back bent, so to speak, his gaze from deceptively real eyes inlaid in ivory and a light blue gemstone goes inwards.