Returns to Pompeii


Front cover of Shelley Hales & Anne-Marie Leander Touati (eds), Returns to Pompeii. Interior space and decoration documented and reviewed. 18th-20th century, Stockholm 2016Now available for purchase at

By Shelley Hales & Anne-Marie Leander Touati (eds.)

This volume presents a series of case studies that trace the ways in which audiences across Europe have attempted to return to Pompeii by emulating its interior decorations since the city’s rediscovery in the mid-eighteenth century. As such, it is about both the impact of Pompeian antiquity on the present and the reception in the present of that antique past, exploring the variety of ways in which Pompeian domestic space and decoration have been revived (and for what purposes and audiences).

The contributions to the volumes compare the ways in which Pompeian wall decorations were interpreted and adapted, given new context and put to serve new social and political purposes, both close to their place of discovery, in the Kingdom of Naples, and in the far-off European periphery, represented by Denmark and Sweden. The many images presented to the reader in this volume confirm colour, fantasy and playfulness, alongside an almost academic orthodoxy of structure, as trademarks of a defined neo-Pompeian style. The volume brings together scholars from different disciplines; archaeologists, arthistorians, pigment technicians and decorators, all of whom have participated in this collective effort to achieve new understanding and appreciation of past and present manifestations of the Pompeian idiom.

Table of contents

Shelley Hales & Anne-Marie Leander Touati | Introduction

Margot Hleunig Heilmann |  Discovery and reception. The influence of Pompeian wall painting in 18th- and 19th-century Naples

Mirella Romero Recio | Pompeii in Spanish interior decoration

Margareta Nisser-Dalman | The absence of Pompeian models in “Pompeian style” interiors in 18th-century Swedish interior decoration

Ulla Houkjær | Recollections of a better place. The transformation of Pompeian ideals in Danish interior decoration, 1790-1860

Anne-Marie Leander Touati | Pompeii in Stockholm: A focus on content

Anne-Marie Leander Touati & Ulf Cederlöf | Observations on the museums in Portici and the Vesuvian sites made by two Swedish professionals in 1756 and 1768, respectively

Irene Bragantini & Renata Cantilena | Reconstructing a museum interior: The Palazzo Reale in Portici

Bettina Bergmann | A tale of two sites: Ludwig I’s Pompejanum and the House of the Dioscuri in Pompeii

Shelley Hales | Living with Arria Marcella: Novel interiors in the Maison Pompéienne

Antero Tammisto & Helena Wassholm | DOMVS POMPEIANA MARCI LVCRETII REDIVIVA. Reconstructing the House of Marcus Lucretius in Helsinki

Margot Hleunig Heilmann | Appendix: Pompeian revival in the decorative arts. Arabesque, grotesque, Herculanean, Pompeian or neo-Pompeian? Terminological clarifications

Bibliographical information

Shelley Hales (ed.) & Anne-Marie Leander Touati (ed.), Returns to Pompeii. Interior space and decoration documented and revived. 18th-20th century (Skrifter utgivna av Svenska Institutet i Rom, 4°, 62), Stockholm 2016. ISSN: 0081993X. ISBN: 9789170421839. Hard cover: 312 pages.

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