Francesco Morelli a Pompei: la copia degli affreschi dell'Anfiteatro e di un quadro della Regio III
In: Rivista di Studi Pompeiani: 32, 2021
The reconstruction of the painted decoration of the podium of the Amphitheater of Pompeii, by means of Francesco Morelli’s tempera, is the starting point to better outline the person and the activity of the sketcher who worked on it during the ending of the Murattian reign and the restoration of the Bourbon to the throne of Naples. This context has certainly been one of the causes that hampered the release of those replicas by the Herculaneum Academy, very soon losing the memory of the exact location of the paintings.
A detailed comparison of the different decorative elements that alternated with the paintings on the podium (already examined by other authors), with numerous Pompeian contexts, allows us to attribute the execution of the lost frescoes in the amphitheater to the Painters’ Workshop in via di Castricio.
Furthermore, the comparison between another tempera by Morelli in which there is a wall with a singular painting of gladiators, and the paintings of a similar subject recently brought to light in the Regio V, is the starting point for identifying the distinctive signs of a painter who certainly worked for the above mentioned Workshop and depicted several times, in both domestic and commercial environments but not outdoors on the street front, the final moment of a gladiator duel.
Keywords: Amphitheater, tempera, podium, gladiators, workshop