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Document Details :
Title: Il lavore degli anonimi
Subtitle: Lo status quaestionis delle ricerche sull'operato dei pittori romani
Author(s): ESPOSITO, Domenico
Volume: 91 Date: 2016
Systematic study of the activities of painters’ workshops is of great importance, not just because it sheds light on how ancient paintings were produced but because it adds to our understanding of the socio-economic system that underpinned this type of production. On a strictly economic level, its huge scale is clear and it can be characterized as a form of ‘mass production’. The examples from Pompeii and Herculaneum demonstrate that painters’ workshops were organized as big businesses, run by redemptores, perhaps in the employ of socially and politically influential patroni. Since they were big businesses, these workshops used numerous teams of decorators capable either of working together on the site of a large public building or separately on multiple sites. At a local level these painters’ workshops were able to control large parts of the market, to continually secure new commissions. More rarely these workshops were able to function on a regional or inter-regional basis.