Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bowen in Rome

"Wall-paintings from a Roman domus lately exhumed, have been transferred to an upstairs gallery of the Museo Nazionale, near the railway station. They should be enjoyed on a sleepy wet afternoon. They give off an atmosphere, being at once luminous and shadowy – and they have surprising freshness: partially here or there a design may have perished or been splintered, but mainly wax has so ingrained the colours into the plaster that Pompeian red, watery ink-black, turquoise, gold-ochre, silvery olive-green, bluish or tawny pinks, and nacreous flesh-tints look as though not having faded they now could not."

– Elizabeth Bowen, A Time in Rome (New York : Knopf, 1960)