Friday, June 27, 2014



Section III – Roman Sculpture of the first century and of the beginning of second century AD

“Round Altar dedicated to Pietas (mercy)” with garlands of fruit and attributes of Vulcan
“Relief with personifications of Etruscan cities” Tarquinia represented by the mythical founder Tarchon, Vulci represented by a veiled woman seated on a throne and Vetulonia represented by a man under a pine tree with an oar over his shoulder
“Two Sileni sleeping over goatskins” from the fountain of the theater of Cerveteri
“Colossal statue of Claudius” (41/54) with a crown of oak about 47 AD
“In contrast to the broad masses of the body, the actual portrait, careful to reproduce the mature facial features with a molding soft and pictorial, shows the first signs of Baroque revival that will be predominant in the portraits of Nero's period” (Simon Fortunella - TMG)
“Colossal statue of Tiberius” (14/37) with a crown of oak
The drapery is incredibly natural in showing the shape of the body so much as to recall the acrobatic virtuosity expressed seventeen centuries later by Antonio Corradini with the spectacular Vestal Tuccia now in the National Gallery of Ancient Art in Palazzo Barberini
Agrippina Minor was the wife of Claudius, Caligula's sister, mother of Nero, the great-granddaughter of Augustus and nephew of Tiberius (he was the brother of his grandfather Drusus): therefore she was incredibly related to all five of the first Roman emperors
“Relief of the altar called Vicomagistri's” 30/40 AD with sacrificial procession of four Vicomagistri from the Palazzo della Cancelleria (Palace of the Chancellery)
The portraits date back to the Julio-Claudian period
Vicomagistri were priestly officials dedicated to the cult of the Lares Compitales, protective deities for the family and for the intersections where there were placed small shrines dedicated to them
Interestingly, this tradition has also been adopted by Christianity and it is still thriving in many Catholics cities and villages
They were mostly found in the Volusii columbarium on the Appian Way
“Decorative reliefs Bacchic with scenes”
“Victimarius with bull and Camilla”
Adventus (arriving in Rome) of Vespasian (69/79) very fragmented, maybe his arrival in Rome in 70 when he was received by his son Domitian
Profectio (departure to war) of Domitian (81/96) maybe for the campaign against the Germans in 83, with head replaced with that of Nerva (96/98) because of Domitian's damnatio memoriae
Damnatio memoriae was the elimination of all images and memories for posterity of personalities declared enemies of Rome and of the Senate after their death
“Last example, still in the Domitian period, of Augustan classicism (...). The figures are still aligned all in the same row and stand against a completely neutral wall” (Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli)
They were maybe building contractors. Their tomb was found at the third mile of the ancient Via Labicana near Centocelle
Among the findings of the end of the first century AD:
There are eagles in the third level of the Colosseum and reproductions of other buildings: entrance Arch of the Iseum Campensis of the 80 AD, Temple of Jupiter Custos and arch with written on it Arcus in Sacra Via Summa identified by some with the Arch of Titus but more probably to be identified with the Porta Mugonia, also because the Via Sacra (Sacred Way) did not pass under the Arch of Titus
The crane was called capra (goat) or rechamum with five men inside as little Guinea pigs, two outside with ropes to be used as brakes and two at the top with a bunch of branches to be placed on the highest spot to indicate the end of the works
It is a tradition that is still active in Italy even though more often, instead of branches, an Italian flag is used
“Bust of Lucius Julius Ursus Servianus” (45/136 AD), an important Roman politician of Spanish origin. He married Hadrian's sister, who was thirty years younger than him
He was a friend of Pliny the Younger. Hadrian would have wanted him as successor but he was ninety at the time, way too old
“Relief of procession of magistrates in front of a temple” the top part of the relief is a cast from the original now in the Museo delle Terme
“Two portraits of older women”
“Relief with vexillum containing eagle” of the legion XII Fulminata
“Colossal Statue of Dacian prisoner” second century AD

SECTION IV - Sarcophagi

“Myth of Adonis” about 220 with not relevant lid with “Saga of Oedipus”
“Myth of Adonis” about 300
“Myth of Phaedra and Hippolytus”
Three sarcophagi found near Porta Viminalis 132/134:
“Gorgon masks and festoons”, “Myth of Orestes” and “Slaughter of the Niobids” with Artemis and Apollo shooting arrows in the lid and the parents of the Niobids, Amphion and Niobe, along with two teachers and a nurse who try in vain to protect some children
On the right side of the sarcophagus “Veiled Woman and bearded man in front of a grave” and on the left “Rocky landscape with two oxen, nymph and male deity” who are probably commenting on the tragedy
“The figure of Amphion armed in the scene of the massacre is in line with some sources that tell of his vain effort to bring assistance to his children and especially his ill-fated attempt to avenge their death by attacking the temple of Apollo, assault paid with his death. Diametrically opposite is Niobe's position, also represented in the misplaced hope of saving the two younger daughters who have taken refuge with her. The center of the relief is occupied by the very lively scene of the massacre. Any temporal or spatial scanning was abolished, there is no trace of the separation between the sons and daughters, and what it is proposed here to the view is e real mass slaughter that strikes indiscriminately on all the offspring” (Dario Iacolino -
“Myth of Mars and Rhea Silvia and of Selene and Endymion” about 250
“Fragments of sarcophagi with harvesting and crushing grapes”

Section V – Roman sculpture II and III century from Ostia

“Statue of Antinous as Vertumnus” with modern head and on the right “Portrait of Hadrian” rather ruined
Statues reproducing the two gay lovers are often placed next to each other in many archeological museums
“Omphale” beginning of the third century AD. The date of this piece is easily identifiable by the hairdo à la Julia Domna, the wife of Septimius Severus (193/211)
Omphale was the queen of Lydia that held Heracles as a slave for three years and with whom she had four children
She held him such a subject that he was forced to wear her women's clothing as she loved to wear the skin of the Nemean Lion and to use the club as it appears in this statue
“Torso of a loricate imperial statue in porphyry” maybe Trajan or Hadrian, found in 1869 in the Hospital of St. John Lateran and other fragments of imperial statues in porphyry
“Eight Roman portraits” of mid-second century
“Statue of Dogmatius with toga” head of about 330 and body of the second century AD
Beautiful “Pastoral Relief” with eagle catching a hare
At the center of the room extraordinary “Mosaic Asàrotos oikos” from a triclinium floor of a villa of the Hadrian's period (117/138)
The idea of a floor with leftover food had been originally, according to Pliny the Elder, of the Greek mosaicist Sosos of Pergamum in the second century BC and this mosaic, inspired by him, was signed by the mosaicist Heraclitus
“The mosaicist has created a floor strewn with remains of food, as it should appear at the end of a lavish banquet: one can recognize fruits, fish bones, chicken bones, mollusks, shells and even a little mouse gnawing a nut shell. The consistency of the subjects is made through an effective play of colors of the shadows cast on the white floor. At the original entrance of the room there are theatrical masks and ritual objects; at the center there is part of a complex River Nile scene“ (Web Site of the Vatican Museums -
“Group of Mithras” who kills the bull, third century AD
“Mithra was an Indo-Iranian deity associated with Varuna. Together they represent the two aspects, day and night, of the sky, and two aspects of the human and cosmic: Varuna punishes offenders, Mithra guarantees and protects the right terms. The earliest mention of Mithra is an enumeration of the pantheon of Mitanni's gods in the 14th century BC. (...) Mithraism, introduced from 1st century AD in Italy, spread throughout the Empire, especially in border provinces where it was propagated by military garrisons. The Emperor Commodus was a follower and other later emperors, up to Julian the Apostate contributed to its prestige. Mithraism penetrated well, though not in its strict form of mysteries, even in public religion, where it was identified with the worship of the sun. It was a powerful rival of Christianity and between the two religions there was probably some mutual influence” (Enciclopedia Treccani)
“Omphalos wrapped in bandages” attribute of Delphic Apollo
“Altar with the labors of Hercules”
“Two statues of Asclepius”
“Hercules shooting the bow”
“Diana of Ephesus”
“Mosaic floor with athletes and judges” in frames from the Baths of Caracalla (211/217) but executed in about 225 during the completion of the Baths by Alexander Severus (222/235) who was very fond of athletics
“The theme, used in former ages to celebrate with a classical view the ideal of the correspondence between the physical and intellectual excellence, is here transformed into a vivid expression of strong physicality, through the emphasis on strongly accentuated muscles and the portraiture representation of the athletes' faces, revealing brutal and violent psychologies” (Gian Luca Grassigli - TMG)
Opened in the 1980s. It was formerly preserved in the Lateran Palace
3430 ancient Roman inscriptions 2,012 of which are patchy
They are divided into two groups: Inscriptions of Rome found in the city and Municipal Inscriptions found in ancient cities of Latium
The inscriptions are placed on frames sliding on tracks for easy use

No comments:

Post a Comment