Alsop House Exterior Decorations
The figures in the niches on the exterior of the Alsop House are reproductions of the grisaille originals. Since they were in a state of advanced deterioration, the frescoes could not be restored and are now hidden behind new panels. The reproductions were executed by Allyn Cox, who discovered that the original gray paint was mixed with yellow, suggesting the artist's familiarity with Pompeiian techniques. It is thought that Richard Alsop planned to have actual statues in niches but, because of the expense, decided to use trompe l'oeil figures instead. The figures on the exterior of the house were inspired, for the most part, by the neo-classical tradition. The central figure on the façade was taken from an engraving after the painting of Erato, muse of love poetry, in the Vatican. The two remaining figures on the façade are probably depictions of Juno and Victory.
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The history of the painted motifs is derived largely from research by Allyn Cox. For further research on the house and its decorations we are indebted to Samuel M. Green (Professor Emeritus, Art Department) and Dolores M. Gall. An earlier version of this text was prepared by Laura M. Edmiston (B.A. Wesleyan 1991).