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In pictures: Ancient Roman paintings
Theatrical masks, Pompeii

Red was one of the predominant background colours of the internal walls of the houses of the city.

A lot of the original lustre has worn off many of the paintings removed from the city by generations of archaeologists. Many of the reds at the exhibition are muted or even tinged with mauve.

But this well-preserved painting has retained all the freshness of colour which it had when the unknown artist sketched them in the 1st Century AD.

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