Amy Welch, a senior University Scholar, travelled to Italy this summer to conduct research for her Honors thesis on Roman wall painting. Her thesis project, directed by Dr. Alden Smith, focuses on the program of wall painting within the House of the Cithara Player in Pompeii. This impressive house belonged to L. Popidius Secundus, an associate of Nero, who was undertaking extensive renovations at the time of the eruption of Vesuvius in A.D. 70. Amy received special permission to spend an entire day surveying and photographing the house, which is normally closed to the public.
Along with Dr. Smith and Dr. Meghan DiLuzio, she also visited the Naples Museum to study paintings from the house in storage rooms filled with shelves of frescoes from Pompeii. "It was a remarkable experience," Amy writes. "Actually being on site and seeing the house and paintings has been invaluable in understanding how an individual in ancient Pompeii would have interacted with the environment inside the house." Amy first decided to write about Roman wall painting while on Baylor in Italy in the summer of 2012. Her return to Italy this summer was funded by a travel grant from the Honors College.