Nathaniel Jones' primary research focuses on the intersections of artistic production, art theory, and social practice in the Roman Republic and Empire.
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In the first centuries BCE and CE, Roman wall painters frequently placed representations of works of art, especially panel paintings, within their own mural compositions. Nathaniel B. Jones argues that the depiction of panel painting within mural ensembles functioned as a meta-pictorial reflection on the practice and status of painting itself. This phenomenon provides crucial visual evidence for both the reception of Greek culture and the interconnected ethical and aesthetic values of art in the Roman world. Roman meta-pictures, this book reveals, not only navigated social debates on the production and consumption of art, but also created space on the Roman wall for new modes of expression relating to pictorial genres, the role of medium in artistic practice, and the history of painting. Richly illustrated, the volume will be important for anyone interested in the social, ethical, and aesthetic dimensions of artworks, in the ancient Mediterranean and beyond.