I have been with Tischbein to Pompeii; and on our road all those glorious prospects which were already well known to us from many a landscape-drawing, lay right and left, dazzling us by their number and unbroken succession.
Pompeii amazes one by its narrowness and littleness,—confined streets, but perfectly straight, and furnished on both sides with a foot pavement; little houses without windows, the rooms being lit only by the doors, which opened on the atrium and the galleries. Even the public edifices, the tomb at the gate, a temple, and also a villa in its neighbourhood, are like models and dolls' houses, rather than real buildings. The rooms—corridors, galleries, and all—are painted with bright and cheerful colours, the wall-surfaces uniform; in the middle some elaborate painting (most of these have been removed); on the borders and at the corners, light, tasteful arabesques, terminating in the pretty figures of nymphs or children; while in others, from out of garlands of flowers, beasts, wild and tame, are issuing. Thus does the city, which first of all the hot shower of stones and ashes overwhelmed, and afterward the excavators plundered, still bear witness, even in its present utterly desolate state, to a taste for painting and the arts common to the whole people, of which the most enthusiastic dilettante of the present day has no idea; nor has he any feeling nor desire for it.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe