Time for another Throwback Thursday!
For those who missed Throwback Thursday last week, I’m sorry! I’ve been busy developing my new How To posts, which will debut on Tuesday as a weekly feature. Please suggest topics or sources for your favorite DIY topics.
This week we’re talking about one of my favorite ancient societies, the Romans. The Romans were imaginative, integrating various cultures and designs from across the empire: notably from Greeks in the East and Etruscans in the North. The more affluent, embellished, material Roman culture influenced Western civilizations more than the Greeks.
At the height of the Roman Empire, it consisted of Western Europe as far north as Scotland, most of the Middle East, as well as the entire northern coast of Africa. The Romans were first to represent a variety of cultures; Rome was a melting pot of diverse influences, aggressively interpreted and lavishly decorated.
Roman architecture adopted contractual elements of the Greeks and Egyptians; however the Romans used a post and lintel system, mostly to organize exteriors but also to heighten the amount of exterior décor. Romans created elements such as pilasters, engaged columns and the arch order with distinguishing capitals, shafts, and bases. Intricate Romans designs feature on the capitals of columns and pilasters. Romans heavily used naturalistic motifs such as vines, acanthus leaves, flowers, as well as a variety of geometric shapes to decorate these elements. The Pantheon is most iconic Roman temple. A true masterpiece highlights Roman technical advancement; the Pantheon was a tribute to the gods.
Although the Pantheon has a simple exterior, the interior showcases Roman extravagance. Patterned marble floors with various geometric shapes leads your eyes to rectangular niches, mimicking exterior architecture, holding statues of gods. The walls are adorned with various marbles, pilasters and engaged columns with exquisite Corinthian capitals. More carvings above these pilasters and columns lead to the coffered concrete dome and oculus. The coffered ceiling provided added décor while also lightening the weight of the dome.
In contrast to public Roman interiors, private interiors weren’t lavishly carved, yet still boasted elegant painting. Compared to Greece, Roman interiors were more garnished. Roman interiors, however ,were not known well until the discovery of Pompeii. At the beginning of the 18th century the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum gave new and detailed insight into Roman 1st century material culture. Classical concepts from the exterior were echoed in the interior, often to define wall and ceiling configurations more distinctly in public interiors. Interiors showcased bright, bold colors such as black, gold, rust, Pompeiian red, turquoise, blue and green. Many of these colors came from frescoes, similar to the Egyptians and Greeks. Furnishings in the Roman Empire were typically grand, heavily carved wood, and extremely detailed. The Romans were the first to place a back on a sofa, which was used to sleep, eat and lounge. Roman textiles were composed of cotton, wool, silk and linen in bright colored patterns and embroideries.
Similarly to the Romans, Mystic’s Park Avenue collection used the same colors and motifs as the Romans. The Park Avenue uses geometric shapes on the throw pillows, contrasting the intricately designed duvet cover in similar colors. The bold red and black beautifully orchestrates floral motifs across the duvet cover, honoring natural Romans motifs.
I sincerely hope you enjoyed today’s Throwback Stay tuned for next week’s two new blog entries, starting with the inception of How To!