A stunning fresco from the House of Augustus on the Palatine. This is something of a combination of first and second-style painting, from the three-dimensional renderings on the above panels. The Domus Augusti, the House of Augustus was the primary residence of Caesar Augustus. It was formerly the house of Quintus Hortensius, located on the Palatine, which was known for its sumptuous residences and religious structures even before it became the site of even more elaborate imperial palaces. Augustus purchased the property in about 36 BC, but it eventually became buried under the site of Domitian's Domus Augustana. It once contained two levels which led to garden courtyards, but it was less posh than many might imagine. Suetonius described it as a modest dwelling unremarkable in either size or elegance (!). Augustus reportedly lived there for more than forty years. It was damaged by fire at some point, but then rebuilt and eventually made into state property, according to Cassius Dio. It may not have been all that elaborate to Suetonius, but the remains of this brightly colored ceiling show that it was far from austere. The walls are also brightly colored, making for a very pleasant residence in one of the most desirable and historically significant regions of the ancient city.
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