Some scholars place it at over 300 acres, while others estimate its size to have been under 100 acres. Suetonius describes the complex as ruinously prodigal as it included groves of trees, pastures with flocks, vineyards, Nero also commissioned from the Greek Zenodorus a colossal 35.5 m high bronze statue of himself, the Colossus Neronis. Pliny the Elder, however, puts its height at only 30.3 m, the statue was placed just outside the main palace entrance at the terminus of the Via Appia in a large atrium of porticoes that divided the city from the private villa. This statue may have represented Nero as the sun god Sol and this idea is widely accepted among scholars but some are convinced that Nero was not identified with Sol while he was alive. The face of the statue was modified shortly after Nero’s death during Vespasian’s reign to make it truly a statue of Sol, Hadrian moved it, with the help of the architect Decrianus and 24 elephants, to a position next to the Flavian Amphitheater. This building took the name Colosseum in the Middle Ages, after the nearby, or, as some historians believe. The Golden House was designed as a place of entertainment, as shown by the presence of 300 rooms without any sleeping quarter, Neros own palace remained on the Quirinal Hill. No kitchens or latrines have been discovered, rooms sheathed in dazzling polished white marble were given richly varied floor plans, shaped with niches and exedras that concentrated or dispersed the daylight. There were pools in the floors and fountains splashing in the corridors, some of the extravagances of the Domus Aurea had repercussions for the future. The architects designed two of the dining rooms to flank an octagonal court, surmounted by a dome with a giant central oculus to let in light. It was a use of Roman concrete construction. One innovation was destined to have an influence on the art of the future, Nero placed mosaics, previously restricted to floors. According to some accounts, perhaps embellished by Neros political enemies, Pliny the Elder watched it being built and mentions it in his Naturalis Historia. Frescoes covered every surface that was not more richly finished, the main artist was one Famulus. Fresco technique, working on damp plaster, demands a speedy and sure touch, Famulus, Pliny, in his Natural History, recounts how Famulus went for only a few hours each day to the Golden House, to work while the light was right. The swiftness of Famuluss execution gives a wonderful unity and astonishing delicacy to his compositions, Pliny the Elder presents Amulius as one of the principal painters of the domus aurea, More recently, lived Amulius, a grave and serious personage, but a painter in the florid style. By this artist there was a Minerva, which had the appearance of looking at the spectators. He only painted a few hours each day, and then with the greatest gravity, for he kept the toga on
Overall plan of Domus Aurea
Overlay of Trajans baths on the Oppian Hill
Statue of a muse in the newly reopened Domus Aurea
The style of wall paintings in Domus Aurea inspired Raphael's Vatican ''Stanze'' and 18th-century Neoclassicism alike.