Trained as a classical archaeologist and art historian, Francesca Tronchin, assistant professor of art history at Rhodes College, will deliver the inaugural lecture of the Nashville Society of the Archaeological Institute of America 2012-2013 series on Tuesday, October 2. Her lecture, “Interpreting Statuary in the Villas of Pompeii and Herculaneum,” will begin at 7 p.m. in the Nashville Parthenon.
Tronchin’s areas of specialization are Roman art and architecture, Roman domestic decor and collecting among the Romans, Pompeii, and fakes and forgeries in museums. Her research and teaching interests approach the visual culture of the ancient Mediterranean world with a social history perspective. She frequently engages with questions of the social function of works of art and architecture, especially in terms of personal identity and political propaganda.
Most of her research and teaching addresses the Bay of Naples region (i.e., Pompeii, Herculaneum) in Roman antiquity and its rediscovery, Greek and Roman sculpture, Roman domestic architecture and decoration, luxury arts in the classical world, and collecting, both ancient and modern. Tronchin is also interested in materials and technique of craft in antiquity, especially exotic luxury materials that are largely elusive to us today—citron wood, purple-dyed cloth, gemstones, and the enigmatic “Corinthian bronze.” Art crime, including archaeological looting, forgeries, and thefts, are also among her preoccupations.
Tronchin is currently at work on a book project entitled Eclecticism, Collecting, and Autobiography in the Houses of Rome and the Bay of Naples. She has published on the roles of nature imagery and simulation in Pompeian houses, eclecticism and collecting habits, Roman architecture, and the House of Octavius Quartio at Pompeii.
An accomplished photographer, Tronchin will illustrate her lecture with stunning images. Co-sponsored by the Department of Classical Studies and the History of Art Goldberg Lecture Series, the lecture, followed by a reception, is free and open to the public. Call the Nashville Parthenon at 615.862.8431 to reserve a seat.