Painted Garden, Villa of Livia

Step into a stunning painted garden that gives insight into the flora and fauna of ancient Rome.

Painted Garden, Villa of Livia, fresco, 30-20 B.C.E. (Museo Nazionale Romano, Palazzo Massimo, Rome)

The plant species depicted include: umbrella pine, oak, red fir, quince, pomegranate, myrtle, oleander, date palm, strawberry, laurel, viburnum, holm oak, boxwood, cypress, ivy, acanthus, rose, poppy, chrysanthemum, chamomile, fern, violet, and iris.



Additional resources:

Marina Piranomonte, “The Villa of Livia on the Via Flaminia and Its Restoration at the Bimillenarius of Augustus (2014),” in Augustus: From Republic to Empire, edited by Grażyna Bąkowska-Czerner and Jarosław Bodzek (Summertown: Archaeopress, 2017), pp. 107–28. 

Roman Painting on the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

Linda Farrar, Ancient Roman Gardens (Stroud: Sutton Publishing Ltd., 1998).

Roger Ling, Roman Painting  (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991).

Donatella Mazzoleni and Umberto Pappalardo, Domus: Wall Painting in the Roman House (Los Angeles: Getty Trust Publications, 2005).

Umberto Pappalardo, The Splendor of Roman Wall Painting (Los Angeles: Getty Trust Publications, 2009).

Smarthistory images for teaching and learning:

[flickr_tags user_id=”82032880@N00″ tags=”livia,”]

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Cite this page as: Dr. Steven Zucker and Dr. Beth Harris, "Painted Garden, Villa of Livia," in Smarthistory, December 6, 2015, accessed November 30, 2023,