Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology
This dissertation focuses on the unpublished wall paintings from Panayia Field, Corinth, Greece and examines the paintings within their archaeological, architectural, and cultural contexts at Roman Corinth. The paintings from Panayia Field originally decorated two distinct phases of domestic architecture, dating to the early first century C.E. and mid-third century C.E., respectively, and depict figural, floral, geometric, and architectural schemes.
In light of the general paucity of published and well-studied wall paintings from dated contexts in Roman Greece, this study contributes significantly to the current body of scholarship. It offers a methodological paradigm and process for the study of excavated mural paintings that draws from both general painting scholarship and from established methodologies used in the study of Roman paintings from other regions of the Roman Empire. Furthermore, analysis of the technical, stylistic and iconographic traits reveals clear trends in the paintings from both phases. This study argues that the first-century wall paintings from Panayia Field demonstrate a wholesale adoption of Italic tastes and painting practices following Corinth’s founding as a Roman colony in 44 B.C.E. While the iconography and decorative motifs of the third-century paintings also draw from an established Roman repertory, the specific materials and technical traits likely signify local painting traditions. These general trends are paralleled in paintings from other Roman buildings at Corinth and illustrate both Corinth’s engagement within the cosmopolitan Mediterranean culture of the third century as well as its regional distinctiveness.
Approaching the paintings from several contextual perspectives facilitates the investigation of questions regarding artistic production and cultural assimilation. The result of these queries is a nuanced view, encompassing the exchange of people, ideas, and materials evidenced by the paintings’ iconography, style, and artistic technique.
Lepinski, Sarah. "Roman Paintings from Panayia Field, Corinth, Greece: A Contextual Study." PhD diss., Bryn Mawr College, 2008.