A Visit to Pompeii by Luigi Bazzani, (1836–1927)

“With us, in fine, art is never anything but a superfluity — something unfamiliar and foreign that comes in to us from the outside when we are wealthy. Our paintings and our sculptures do not make part and parcel of our houses. If we have a Venus of Milo on our mantel-clock, it is not because we worship beauty, nor that, to our view, there is the slightest connection between the mother of the Graces and the hour of the day. Venus finds herself very much out of her element there; she is in exile, evidently. On the other hand, at Pompeii she is at home… She was the venerated patroness whose protection they invoked, whose anger they feared…All these well-known stories of gods and demigods who throned it on the walls, were the fairy tales, the holy legends, the thousand-times-repeated narratives that delighted the Pompeians. They had no need of explanatory programmes when they entered their domestic museums.”

Marc Monnier, The wonders of Pompeii (New York:
Charles Scribner & CO., 1871), 195.

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