"kept on walking, through all those echoing, freshly stuccoed state rooms – Venus, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter"
Wall Paintings and Mosaic from a site in Zeugma
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeWall Paintings and Mosaic from a site in Zeugma - Credit: Udimu/Wikimedia Commons

The wealthy Roman elite loved to decorate their houses and villas with lavish paintings, mosaics and artworks, particularly in the reception rooms where guests were entertained or clients received. Interior decoration followed changing fashions, but certain themes were always popular, including scenes of the gods and Greek mythology. Bacchus was commonly used in dining and entertaining rooms, Neptune and nymphs in the bathroom, Venus in the bedroom, and so on. The more exquisite and expensive the decoration, the higher the status of the owner; Romans loved to show off!

Wall Painting of Perseus and Andromeda, 1st Century BC
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeWall Painting of Perseus and Andromeda, 1st Century BC - Credit: Maulleigh at Flickr

The Season Summer, detail of the Medusa and the Seasons Roman Mosaic
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Season Summer, detail of the Medusa and the Seasons Roman Mosaic - Credit: Zaqarbal at Flickr

Neptune and Amphitrite, Roman Mosaic
Public DomainNeptune and Amphitrite, Roman Mosaic - Credit: Waterborough/Wikimedia Commons

Reclining Woman, Wall Painting at Pompeii
Creative Commons AttributionReclining Woman, Wall Painting at Pompeii - Credit: tore_urnes at Flickr