In Rome, until 17 January 2010, there is a beautiful exhibition of ancient Roman painting at the Scuderie del Quirinale. The exhibition is called Roma: La Pittura di un Impero. One of the earliest paintings is a detached fresco from Pompeii. It is in the Architectonic or Second Style (combining architectural elements and views) and dates from around 40 – 30 BC.
Below the garlands there are examples of Roman graffiti and I’m posting three photographs showing just a small part of the graffiti. The scratched (getting back to the meaning of the word graffiti) drawings are of animals, hunted animals. Because the graffiti is low down on the wall, there has been thought that they were done by children, but a seated adult seems just as reasonable. When the graffiti was made is unknown, but it would have been before the earthquake of 62 AD.