Hadrian's Villa, Hellenistic Art, Italy, Museum, Mythology, Roman art

Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Marble head of a companion of Odysseus

This month’s sculpture from Hadrian’s Villa is a marble head of a companion of Odysseus, copied after a famous work of the Hellenistic period. This head shows the face of a man that probably belonged to a multi-figure group depicting Odysseus with his twelve companions blinding the one-eyed giant and the most famous of the Cyclopes,… Continue reading Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Marble head of a companion of Odysseus

Hadrian's Villa, Italy, Museum, Roman Mythology

Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Statue of the young god Hermes, known as ‘Capitoline Antinous’

This month’s sculpture from Hadrian’s Villa is a marble statue of a young nude, the so-called 'Capitoline Antinous'. It was found in 1723/24 during the time when Giuseppe Fede was undertaking the earliest concerted excavations at the Villa Adriana. However its exact provenance within the Villa is unknown. Considering that this work was found at… Continue reading Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Statue of the young god Hermes, known as ‘Capitoline Antinous’

Antoninus Pius, Hadrian, Italy, Museum, Roman art, Roman Temples, Rome

The Hadrianeum and the personifications of provinces

Just a short walk from the Pantheon, in Piazza di Pietra, are the majestic remains of the Temple of the deified Hadrian (Hadrianeum) built by Antoninus Pius, Hadrian's adopted son and successor. Of the original temple, only eleven columns with capitals and the cella wall are still visible today. In 1696, during the pontificate of… Continue reading The Hadrianeum and the personifications of provinces

Exhibition, France, Italy, Museum, Photography, Roman art, Roman Frescoes

Roman frescoes on show in Toulouse (France)

Last weekend I travelled to Toulouse to visit the fabulous exhibition on Roman frescoes being held at the Musée Saint-Raymond. The exhibition, entitled 'L'Empire de la couleur - De Pompéi au sud des Gaules' ('Empire of colour - From Pompeii to Southern Gaul'), opened last November and runs through March 2015. The majority of Roman… Continue reading Roman frescoes on show in Toulouse (France)

Hadrian's Villa, Italy, Roman art, Roman Mosaic, Roman villa

Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Black-and-white mosaics with geometric and floral motifs

This month’s masterpieces from Hadrian’s Villa are the black-and-white mosaics with geometric and floral motifs from the Hospitalia (guesthouse). The Hospitalia (guesthouse) was a two-storey building. It contained ten T-shaped bedrooms (cubiculae) on the first floor which were located on each side of a long and wide central hallway, at the southern end of which… Continue reading Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Black-and-white mosaics with geometric and floral motifs

Archaeology Travel, Italy, Mythology, Photography, Roman Temples

A journey to Terracina on the Riviera of Ulysses

Following my visit to Minturnae (see previous post here), I continued my journey north along the Appian Way to reach Terracina, a picturesque town on the Tyrrhenian coast situated approximately half-way between Rome and Naples. Legend has it that Odysseus sailed here on his travels and surrendered to Circe's enchantment. Circe is said to have… Continue reading A journey to Terracina on the Riviera of Ulysses

Aqueduct, Archaeology Travel, Italy, Photography

Exploring Minturnae, a forgotten ancient city on the Appian Way

On a recent trip to Italy, I visited the Archaeological Area of Minturnae, a little-known but impressive archaeological site along the Appian Way. Minturnae was originally an Auruncian city (of which no archaeological traces have been found), one of the three towns of the Aurunci which allied themselves with the Samnites and made war against… Continue reading Exploring Minturnae, a forgotten ancient city on the Appian Way

Italy, Magna Graecia, Museum

The Painted Tombs of Paestum

With its three magnificent large Doric temples, Paestum became a well-known site thanks to the 18th century engravings by Piranesi and Goethe’s impressive descriptions in his Italian Journey. However Paestum is also renowned for its tombs decorated with painted scenes. During excavations in the 1960s, around 200 richly painted tombs from the Lucanian period (4th century… Continue reading The Painted Tombs of Paestum

Hadrian, Hadrian portrait, Italy, Museum, Nerva–Antonine dynasty, Roman art, Rome

The Hadrianic reliefs from the Arch of Portugal (Arco di Portogallo), Rome

About halfway along today's via del Corso, once called via Lata, a large arch of Roman age spanned the street up to the mid 17th century. It was earlier known as the Arcus Hadriani, but from the sixteenth century it was called Arco di Portogallo (Arch of Portual) because it adjoined the residence of the Portuguese ambassador,… Continue reading The Hadrianic reliefs from the Arch of Portugal (Arco di Portogallo), Rome

Hadrian's Villa, Italy, Museum, Mythology, Roman art, Roman villa

Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Marble statue of Flora, goddess of flowers and the season of spring

"As she talks, her lips breathe spring roses: I was Chloris, who am now called Flora." Ovid This week’s sculpture from Hadrian’s Villa is a marble statue of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers and the season of spring. While she was otherwise a relatively minor figure in Roman mythology, being one among several fertility… Continue reading Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Marble statue of Flora, goddess of flowers and the season of spring