Roman painting is full of items associated with religious practice. Garlands, in particular, are found represented in Roman frescoes, often draped over different panels to enliven the painted surface with the semblance of abundant fresh flowers. There are indications, however, that in Roman domestic spaces, latrines, and streets, physical garlands were actually attached to the frescoes as votive offerings that mimic the painted garlands behind them. This paper considers how Roman paintings worked in tandem with garlands and other physical objects, and how Pompeiians engaged in mimetic acts. The two-dimensional painted surface depicting “mimetic votives” should be viewed within a three-dimensional space inhabited by people and objects. The mimetic act of hanging a garland was part of ancient lived religion, and, as such, enables us to examine past religious experiences, focusing on the individual and communication with the divine. The relationship between these various visual media would have created unique experiences in the daily lives of ancient Romans that are rarely considered today.
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