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Trimalchio ad nauseam: Roman Art as a Tyranny of Bad Taste?

Daedalus presents the wooden cow to Pasiphae. Wall painting from the House of the Vettii, Pompeii, 62–79 CE.

Lecture M. Victor Leventritt

Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street
Cambridge MA

Ruth Bielfeldt, Harvard’s Harris K. Weston Associate Professor of the Humanities, takes the lavish dinner party of the Roman freedman Trimalchio (described in Petronius’s Satyricon) as the starting point for a critical look at wall paintings and other domestic art of early Imperial Rome. Are excess and mishmash always bad, or does Trimalchio’s desire to turn the world into an overstuffed dish offer a key to a different understanding of Roman tastes and aesthetics?

This event will take place in Menschel Hall, Lower Level.

Free admission. Please enter the museums via the entrance on Broadway.

Complimentary parking available in the Broadway Garage, 7 Felton Street, Cambridge.

Support for the lecture is provided by the M. Victor Leventritt Fund, which was established through the generosity of the wife, children, and friends of the late M. Victor Leventritt, Harvard Class of 1935. The purpose of the fund is to present outstanding scholars of the history and theory of art to the Harvard and Greater Boston communities.