Musée Maillol, Paris
21 September 2011 - 12 February 2012
61, rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris
+ 33 1 42 22 59 58

This exhibition was conceived to show the modernity of Roman civilisation, the bedrock and inevitable precursor of our Western culture. A domus pompeiana – a Pompeiian house – is brought to life through its most famous and traditional rooms: the atrium, triclinium and culina, the peristyle around the garden, the balneum and venereum. Each room is decorated with frescoes and objects, including 200 works from Pompeii and other sites around Vesuvius.

While there are numerous and often well preserved public monuments from the Roman
Empire – theatres, amphitheatres, spas, temples – apart from the ones found buried by the
eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD at Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis and Stabiae, private houses are rare and have never been found complete anywhere else. These houses and villas still fascinate us because of their state of preservation.

Their infrastructure – running water, heating systems, sewers, use of green spaces, right
down to the design of their everyday objects – seems spectacularly modern. The exhibition invites visitors to walk around in this house as if it were their own, creating the illusion that they are guests of the owners, despite the 2,000 years that separate us from them.