The famous Red of Pompeii

The famous Red of Pompeii

One of the most valuable testimonies that has always showed us the habits and customs, the traditions and culture of a population and of a certain historical period, is surely the fresco. In Pompeii, the city of the Campania region sadly famous to have been destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, the wall paintings survived from the tragedy are fortunately many.
Here, the houses were enriched by several painted scenes depicting architectures, landscapes, everyday scenes and even erotic scenes.

The fresco technique is to apply the powdered color pigments directly on the fresh plaster thus activating a chemical reaction that favors the fixing of the colors.
A study sponsored by the Parthenopean Superintendence and conducted by Sergio Omarini from the Optics National Institute of Florence, explained how the intensity and th tone of the red color of these frescoes, is actually the result of an alteration caused by the eruption itself.

The famous Red of Pompeii

Observing the cracks created in the walls showing us the underneath original color, and through different studies conducted on the temperature and the chemical composition of the pigments, it has been discovered that the famous red color (precisely called pompeiano for the large presence of it in this city) it was actually a yellow ocher color! In fact, the heat and the gases emitted by the volcano eruption have provoked this reaction which was also known by the ancients: the same Pliny, in one of his works, described as warming the yellow ocher inside the ovens you could get a red pigment.

This discovery however very interesting, does not detract anything from the beauty and the charm of these frescoes that give us a rich and lively image of a civilization frozen in time about 2000 years ago.

Evening visits

From May have begun again the evening visits to the excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

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