Art: Phoenix in Campania

GREAT art is rising like a bright phoenix from the grey ashes around Mt. Vesuvius.

The world's greatest painters, according to the writers of ancient Greece and Rome, were Greeks—Polygnotus, Zeuxis, Parrhasius and Apelles. But not a single picture from the hands of these legendary masters survives. To imagine what Greek painting looked like, scholars study the Roman art of Campania, the ancient resort area centering on Pompeii. The artists who decorated Campania's villas, inns and brothels drew their inspiration mainly from the Greek tradition, and when Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D., their art was packed in stones and ashes and preserved....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!