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p921 Pinacotheca

Article by William Ramsay, M.A., Professor of Humanity in the University of Glasgow
on p921 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

PINACOTHE′CA (πίναξ, θήκη), a picture-gallery. Marcellus, after the capture of Syracuse, first displayed the works of Greek painters and sculptors to his countrymen, whose taste for the fine arts was gradually matured by the conquests of L. Scipio, Flamininus, and L. Paullus, and grew into a passion after the spoils of Achaia had been transported by Mummius to Rome. Objects of this description were at first employed exclusively for the decoration of temples and places of public resort, but private collections were soon formed; and towards the close of the republic we find that in the houses of the more opulent a room was devoted to the reception of paintings and statues (Varro, R. R. I.2, 59; Cic. in Verr. I.21). In the time of Augustus, Vitruvius includes the pinacotheca among the ordinary apartments of a complete mansion, and gives directions that it should be of ample size and facing the north, in order that the light might be equable and not too strong. (Vitruv. I.2, VI.57; compare Plin. H. N. XXXV.2, 7, 11; Mazois, Le Palais de Scaurus, cap. IX; Becker, Gallus, vol. I p92.)


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