Signs & Frescoes in Pompeii & Herculaneum 3


Painting on walls in Pompeii & Herculaneum

Photo: Erik Winkler, www.schitterend.eu/en

When I give talks on the history of signs painted on walls I often refer to their ancient history, going back at least as far as Roman times. Evidence for this comes from the ruins at Pompeii and Herculaneum as seen before on these photos shared with me by Will Collin five years ago. (Ancient wall painting and ghostsigns are a bit of a recurring theme on this blog.)

Erik Winkler from the Netherlands has shared some more images with me, including a number of frescoes and contextual photos of a couple of painted signs that I’ve seen before. These are shown below, and it is interesting to see the perspex cover method used in at least one instance. Thank you Erik for sharing these, I am long overdue a visit and have now added to this ‘Lettering Locations’ map which will one day form the basis of a world tour…

Painting on walls in Pompeii & Herculaneum

Photo: Erik Winkler, www.schitterend.eu/en

Painting on walls in Pompeii & Herculaneum

Photo: Erik Winkler, www.schitterend.eu/en

Painting on walls in Pompeii & Herculaneum

Photo: Erik Winkler, www.schitterend.eu/en

Painting on walls in Pompeii & Herculaneum

Photo: Erik Winkler, www.schitterend.eu/en

In addition to these pieces of painted lettering and signage are many frescoes…

Painting on walls in Pompeii & Herculaneum

Photo: Erik Winkler, www.schitterend.eu/en

Painting on walls in Pompeii & Herculaneum

Photo: Erik Winkler, www.schitterend.eu/en

Painting on walls in Pompeii & Herculaneum

Photo: Erik Winkler, www.schitterend.eu/en

Painting on walls in Pompeii & Herculaneum

Photo: Erik Winkler, www.schitterend.eu/en

Painting on walls in Pompeii & Herculaneum

Photo: Erik Winkler, www.schitterend.eu/en

An unusual example of one on a floor…

Painting on walls in Pompeii & Herculaneum

Photo: Erik Winkler, www.schitterend.eu/en

And two more modern pieces of painted shop signage above contemporary fascias…

Painting on walls in Pompeii & Herculaneum

Photo: Erik Winkler, www.schitterend.eu/en

Painting on walls in Pompeii & Herculaneum

Photo: Erik Winkler, www.schitterend.eu/en

Thank you Erik for sharing these fascinating images.

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  • Beatrice

    This is fantastic – these types of prints would be wonderfully awesome in a nice big art book – with whatever we know about the frescoes and the like. Is there one? Or must I settle for these awesome images stolen from your blog? 😀 Great work and thanks for posting these lovely bits of the past!

    • Thanks, although there are a number of books on the frescoes from an art perspective, I think there could definitely be something more lettering focused. I’ll have an ask around and see what I discover…

  • Erik adds that, “The first photos are actual signs which tell the people things like: ‘Here you can get the best fast food’. So even in Roman times these open kitchens had fast food and signage to make people aware of their products.”