Old Centaur
Hadrian's Villa, Hellenistic Art, Mythology, Roman art

Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: The Furietti Centaurs

This month’s sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa are a pair of dark-grey marble statues of centaurs. The sculptures became very famous due to their sculptors' outstanding workmanship and the rarity and high quality of their materials. The group was carved in bigio morato marble from the quarries of Göktepe near Aphrodisias in Caria (modern-day Turkey). The statues [...]

Fragment of a marble panel with depiction of a musician centaur with thyrsus and drum and a herm of Herakles (Dionysiac subjects).
Hadrian's Villa, Roman art

Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Fragment of a marble panel with Dionysiac subjects

This month’s sculpture from Hadrian’s Villa is a fragment of a dark grey marble panel with depictions of a centaur and a herm of Hercules. Formerly the property of the duke Braschi in Tivoli, the relief was acquired by the National Roman Museum in 1913 from Giorgio Sangiorgi, a well-known antiques dealer whose gallery was in the [...]

Cartouche of Antinous.
Antinous, Epigraphy, Hadrian, Hadrian's Villa, Rome

The Obelisk of Antinous

While Hadrian was visiting the province of Egypt in late 130 AD, his favorite Antinous drowned mysteriously in the Nile River. This tragic event led to the creation of a new divinity: Osirantinous, or Antinous as a manifestation of Osiris, the god who died and was reborn. One of our best primary sources for information [...]

Mosaic panel depicting a landscape with goats and sheeps and a statue of Dionysus holding thyrsus, from the Sala a Tre Navate (Hall with three ailes) in the Imperial Villa at Hadrian's Villa, Vatican Museums (Sala degli Animali)
Hadrian's Villa, Italy, Mythology, Roman art, Roman Mosaic, Roman villa

Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Three mosaic panels with bucolic scenes

This month’s masterpiece from Hadrian’s Villa is a series of heavily restored mosaic panels depicting bucolic scenes with animals. The first panel depicts a rocky landscape with a flock of goats peacefully grazing by a stream. A standing bronze statue dressed in a long tunic is standing on a rock. It holds a bunch of grapes [...]

Hadrian's Villa, Roman Portraiture

Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Imperial portraits of Hadrian’s successors

This month’s sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa are portraits of Roman emperors and empresses who rose to power after Hadrian. After the death of Hadrian in 138 AD, the villa was occasionally used by his various successors. Busts of the emperors Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus, Septimius Severus and Caracalla have been found on the [...]

Hadrian's Villa, Italy, Museum, Roman art

Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Headless statue of Athena

This month’s sculpture from Hadrian’s Villa is a headless statue of Athena of the Vescovali-Arezzo Type and made of Luna marble. The goddess is depicted wrapped in a himation (cloak). She wears her aegis bordered with small snakes over the shoulders. She stands with her left hand resting on her hip and would have carried a [...]

The Lansdowne relief, found at Hadrian's Villa, 120-138 AD, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
Hadrian's Villa, Museum, Mythology, Roman art, Roman villa

Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: The Lansdowne Relief

This month’s sculpture from Hadrian’s Villa is a dark grey limestone relief decorated with mythological scenes. The relief was unearthed in 1769 during excavations undertook by the art dealer and archaeologist Gavin Hamilton who sold it to Lord Lansdowne. The latter was an avid collector of antiquities who owned a fine collection of classical sculptures [...]

Theatrical mask from the South Theatre (Odeum) at Hadrian's Villa, female figure of tragedy wearing the onkos (topknot), Cortile del Belvedere, Vatican Museums
Hadrian's Villa, Roman art

Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: The marble theatrical masks

This month’s masterpieces from Hadrian’s Villa are the larger than life-size marble theatrical masks that once decorated the scaenae frons (stage-front) of the odeon of the villa. The theatre and theatrical performances were particularly popular in Graeco-Roman art. We find many depictions of theatrical scenery, actors and masks in almost all kinds of works of [...]

Praxilla by John William Godward (1921)
Hadrian's Villa, Museum, Roman art

Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Marble statue of a dancing female figure

This month’s sculpture from Hadrian’s Villa is a marble statue of a dancing female figure, thought to be a portrait of Praxilla of Sikyon. Praxilla was a female poet writing in the mid-fifth century BC. She came from Sikyon, a city situated on a fertile coastal plain beside the Corinthian Gulf in the northeast Peloponnese [...]

Detail of the "Fauno rosso", a red-marble statue depicting a drunken satyr, Hadrianic copy of a Greek original from the late Hellenistic, from Hadrian's Villa, Palazzo Nuovo, Capitoline Museums
Hadrian's Villa, Museum, Roman art, Roman Mythology, Roman villa

Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Statue of a satyr in red marble

This month’s sculpture from Hadrian’s Villa is a red-marble statue of a satyr, the so-called "Fauno rosso" (red faun). The Fauno rosso depicts a satyr, follower of Dionysus, the god of wine. He is depicted entirely nude apart from a nebris (faun skin) knotted on the right shoulder and hanging down over his left shoulder. The satyr [...]