A large-scale exhibition project developed to recount the fascination that the archaeological site of Pompeii held for artists and the European imagination, from the start of excavations in 1748 to its dramatic bombing in 1943. This is “Pompeii and Europe. 1748 – 1943”, an exhibition open to the public from 27 May to 2 November 2015 at the National Museum of Archaeology in Naples and simultaneously at the Amphitheatre in Pompeii, with the patronage of Expo Milano 2015.
Sponsored by the Soprintendenza Speciale per Pompei, Ercolano e Stabiaand by the Management of the Grande Progetto Pompei, in collaboration with the National Museum of Archaeology in Naples, the exhibition – organised by Electa with installation by Francesco Venezia – is structured as a true journey, grand and complex, in which Antiquity enters into a dialogue with Modernity, and nature with the arts and archaeology.
The exhibition is divided into four chronological sections containing works of various types: paintings, drawings, collections of prints, architectural plans, photographs, sculptures, objects, books and more.
The variety of items on display and the artists involved show how Pompeii, with its buried ruins and its classicism, has fascinated artists from all over Europe for nearly two hundred years, from Ingres to Picasso, Normand to Le Corbusier, Moreau to De Chirico.
The dual exhibition venue features two separate lighting concepts, different but at the same time complementary.
The design for the Naples site centres upon the concept of “working on memory”, using light to showcase objects thematically linked to each other but made centuries apart.
In order to bring together this highly heterogeneous display, the illumination of each piece must be similar but perceivably different, using the “vibrated light” technique. Vibrated light involves alternating different light beams using two 3000K light sources with different spectrums, dimmed individually.
The constantly changing light spectrum in the environment is perceived by the human eye but is not visible on the painted surface of the works; it therefore appears as a continuous vibration.
The vibration is appreciable if there are other illuminated surfaces within the space, stable by contrast, which act as a comparative element, bringing out the vibrated light system.
For this project, 10 Watt track-mounted Yori LED projectors were chosen, featuring a special cone louvre with 3 beam widths: 12°, 15° and 20°.
The precise adjustability of the projectors allows for optimum positioning which minimises any bouncing of the luminance caused by the multiple glass elements present.
The Pompeii installation features a different concept: whilst in Naples the visitor experience does not take in the totality of the setting at first glance, in Pompeii the light immediately draws the eye to the spectacular architecture of the space as a whole.
The main problem with the round geometry of the setting was controlling the luminous flux output. To remedy this, special brackets were created to allow the Linea Luce Slim LED linear System used to be directly mounted on the arch of the dome.
The consistency between the two lighting designs ultimately lies in the role of the natural light, which is integrated, in both cases, with solutions selected to reduce energy consumption.