House of the Library

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Address: Insula 17
Area: 625 square meters
Rooms: 10


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The House of the Library is located on Vicolo del Pharmacista, south of its junction with Via Consolare. The House of the Library, first excavated in 1759 and again in the 1970s, is named after the possible existence of a private library in the building.


The entrance, located on the western side of the Vicolo del Pharmacista, opens directly into the atrium of the living room with tetrastil (four columns) around the central imluvium pool. The atrium is in a poor state of preservation, and most walls are in a semi-destructive state. Only a few broken columns can witness the previous greatness of the rooms. However, fragments of fresco decoration are preserved, especially on the eastern wall on both sides of the entrance and in the south. The fourth-style frescoes are made up of dark red panels framed with white lines on a pastel green background above a high, low frieze.


A large ocular room (d) opens from the southeast corner of the atrium. As in the atrium, and indeed for all the other rooms on the first floor, the eye is in a semi-destructive state, with several large fragments of fresco finishing on other bare and broken walls. The decoration of the frescoes of the second style consists of painted columns on a predominantly red background above the high frieze in yellow and red colors. The cubiculum bedroom (e) in the northwest corner of the atrium is decorated with clearer red rectangles on a yellow background.


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Most of the panels from the House of the Library can be seen in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples. However, some fragments of colorful frescoes remain on the walls.


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