A young woman stands looking out from a balcony on this Roman fresco fragment. She sips from a shallow cup and steadies an oinochoe, or pitcher, on the balcony railing. The identity of the woman remains uncertain. She may be a highborn daughter relaxing in her home, or she may be a servant girl avoiding her chores. Another interpretation is that the woman alludes to a famous work of the Greek painter Pausias made in the 300s B.C. that depicted Methe, the personification of drunkenness.
This fresco is only a small fragment cut from an entire wall of painted decoration. The color scheme used on the fragment associates it with the so-called Second Style of Roman wall painting, a style that used illusionistic architecture to create a three-dimensional effect. This fragment is probably from the upper zone of a small dining room, or triclinium. The right-to-left shadows cast by the bosses on the railing indicate that this painting originally decorated the right-hand wall of the room as one entered it.