0D197B 111119 3E3816 504F4B 9FA6B0 A09F83 EAEED3 FFFFFF

Share this photo on Twitter Share this photo on Facebook

Reflections - Roman Pool #1 of 2

Posted by
Steven (Chicagoland, United States) on 4 December 2012 in Art & Design and Portfolio.

The Roman Pool at Hearst castle is a tiled indoor pool decorated with eight statues of Roman gods, goddesses and heroes. The pool appears to be styled after an ancient Roman bath such as the Baths of Caracalla in Rome c. 211-17 CE. The mosaic tiled patterns were inspired by mosaics found in the 5th Century Mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna, Italy. They are also representative of traditional marine monster themes that can be found in ancient Roman baths. The statues are rough copies of ancient Greek and Roman statues. One such copy represents the “Apoxyomenos.” Statuary was used on a considerable scale in the Baths of Caracalla.

The pool and surrounding room, which were built from 1927-1934, can be compared to an ancient Roman bath. The pool, like the baths, is located indoors. Its water was heated as in a tepidarium. However, in Hearst’s complex there were no hot or cold baths as there were in the ancient complex. The Roman Pool complex was designed to contain an exercise room, sweat baths, a handball court and dressing rooms.

The Roman Pool is decorated from ceiling to floor with 1″ square mosaic tiles. These glass tiles, called smalti, are either colored (mainly blue or orange) or are clear with fused gold inside. The intense colors and shimmering gold of the tiles combine to create a breathtaking effect. The designs created by the tiles were developed by muralist Camille Solon. The inspiration for some of these designs came from the 5th Century Mausoleum of Galla Placidia.

Hearst was affected by the beauty of the mosaics in the mausoleum and incorporated similar styles into his Roman Pool. The walls of the mausoleum are marble but the vaulted arches are composed of blue and gold smalti. The roofs and dome are covered with mosaics of night blue, powdered with stars. The Roman Pool is similar to the mausoleum with its blue and gold color scheme and stylized star patterns. It differs because marble was only used in the statues, not on the walls, and there are no religious murals.

Decorating the Roman Pool are eight marble statues. These statues were carved starting in 1930 by Carlo Freter working in Pietrasanta, Italy. They are rough copies of ancient Greek and Roman statues. The statue of “Apoxyomenos” is found near the east side of the building. “Apoxyomenos,” also known as “The Scraper,” is a statue of an athlete scraping dirt and moisture off the underside of his right arm. The original bronze statue was created by the Greek sculptor Lysippos c. 320 B.C.E. Because Lysippos’ work does not survive, Freter worked from an ancient Roman copy of “The Scraper” found in the Vatican museum in Rome. Freter faithfully copied the Roman copy but also completes the statue with the addition of the missing strigil (scraper) and the missing fingers of the outstretched hand.

Photo captured August 17, 2012.

NIKON D7000 1/60 second F/4.0 ISO 450 18 mm

New photos posted on most Mondays through Thursdays.
All photos are copyrighted and may not be reproduced or distributed without my expressed, written consent.

Spotlight Images

Nigel from Avening, United Kingdom

Looks very authentic - super reflections

4 Dec 2012 6:42am

Sylvie capture image from Anjou - Maine et Loire (Loire Valley), France

magnifique ce lieu !

4 Dec 2012 8:14am

Heinz from Hamm, Germany

Wunderschöne Blautöne und gute Spiegelungen. Interessante Info.

4 Dec 2012 8:49am

Stephen from Canberra, Australia

Extraordinary luxury! Very beautiful in gold and blue - with gorgeous reflections!

4 Dec 2012 9:10am

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

Stunningly unreal . . or is it extra-real, I wonder ?!

4 Dec 2012 9:27am

Phil Morris from Saskatoon, Toronto, Canada

A beautiful photo, as good or better than I have seen of this room and it shows
the scale particularly well, Steven !~

4 Dec 2012 9:45am

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

Quite an incredible HDR with all of that colour and detail, the reflections are superb.

4 Dec 2012 10:34am

Dimitrios from ATHENS, Greece

mm impressive room!

4 Dec 2012 10:42am

Mhelene from Villiers-sur-Marne, France

Very beautiful ! A magic place !!

4 Dec 2012 10:45am

Mariana Maoduš from Waterloo, Canada

Impressive place . Great shot .

4 Dec 2012 10:57am

Judy aka L@dybug from Brooksville, FL, United States

Your treatment brought out every detail ... wonderful work!

4 Dec 2012 1:07pm

tataray from france, France

Ahhhh c'est impressionnant ici.... mais superbe.
On ne sait plus où regarder... Génial.)

4 Dec 2012 1:12pm

Rick from Toronto, Canada

You rocked that shot, big time. I love it.

4 Dec 2012 1:56pm

Francisco Romero from Carbajal de la Legua, Spain

Wow! the motionless water gives a wonderful depth to the scene, complementing fantastically the ornamented scene. Great framing.

4 Dec 2012 3:33pm

Ralph Jones from Detroit, United States

WOW those tiles are absolutely beautiful!

4 Dec 2012 4:49pm

Ruthiebear from Titusville, NJ, United States

This is just gorgeous. The vivid color and reflections are amazing.

4 Dec 2012 8:22pm

RBL from Oxford, United States

Wow, beautiful pool and decorated tiles... the reflection is outstanding!

4 Dec 2012 8:53pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

Oh yes, I remember this wonderful pool and tile work. A superb photo.

4 Dec 2012 9:33pm

Carol from Leamington, Canada

A spectacular photo Steven, such luxuries back then.... the beauty of the tiles and the colors are fantastic! I love the angle of this and the reflections are so cool! Excellent!!

4 Dec 2012 9:58pm

Alun from cheshire, United Kingdom

Wow, that is stunning

4 Dec 2012 10:54pm

Visualaccent from somewhere in the, United States

Remarkable picture and perfect, deep reflection of surrounding walls. If we didn't have any people on the picture I wouldn't recognize reflection for physical walls and sculptures.

4 Dec 2012 10:57pm

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

stunning reflections

4 Dec 2012 11:56pm

Elaine Hancock from Rockville, United States

Wow! This is absolutely beautiful! The colors and the reflections are gorgeous.

4 Dec 2012 11:56pm

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

I remember seeing this and I've got to say it's the most beautiful swimming pool I've ever seen. The outdoor pool was not to shabby either. ;-)

5 Dec 2012 12:54am

@B. Thomas: That's coming up next! :-)

Harry from Apex NC, United States

A gorgeous shot - well framed and well processed.

5 Dec 2012 2:13am

Sarito from Basingstoke, United Kingdom

wow.. incredible work on the ceiling and the walls.. Double pleasure with the reflections :)

5 Dec 2012 10:54am

Florence from Paris, France

Such a beautiful and classy place. Wow.

5 Dec 2012 7:50pm

franz from Baden, Austria

a stunning (if slightly crazy) place and a cracking shot !!!

10 Dec 2012 5:04pm

Roland-T from Loverval, Belgium

Wow, splendid décor! good photo!

29 Jul 2016 1:33pm