House of the Beautiful Courtyard, Herculaneum

Banner Images: Parco Archeologico di Ercolano; House of the Beautiful Courtyard, view from the entrance to the staircase (left) and reception space (right); Amedeo Maiuri's Open Museum, 1956; Roman Wall painting in the House of the Beautiful Courtyard; terracotta figure of Isis Lactans from the Parco Archeologico di Ercolano's collection; surviving wooden figure from the Parco Archeologico di Ercolano's collection.


Expanded Interiors is developing a site-specific installation for The House of the Beautiful Courtyard, in response to its unique structure, decoration, and rich history.

Excavated by Amedeo Maiuri between 1931 and 1938, the House of the Beautiful Courtyard was also part of Maiuri’s Open Museum, in which he exhibited Roman objects found in Herculaneum. The house located in the Regio I, Insula V, also features an unusually large reception room that is decorated with a beautiful fourth style wall painting. Like Maiuri, Expanded Interiors will take an experimental approach to exhibiting Roman objects on site. It will also explore through fine-art practice the various artistic strategies with which the Roman wall painters embedded their work within physical surroundings, and responded to specific social, economic and cultural context.

The site-specific installation at Herculaneum also complements the Expanded Interiors installation at The House of the Cryptoporticus, in Pompeii. Both houses have distinctive spaces that have strongly contrasting physical qualities and private/public functions. Consequently, they are adorned with particular types of wall paintings, and will allow for the development of different, yet connected, contemporary fine-art installations.