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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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

Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Marble head of Hypnos

This month’s sculpture from Hadrian’s Villa is a marble head of Hypnos, the Greek god of Sleep. Hypnos is represented as a young man with wings attached to his temples (now lost). The head must have been part of a full length statue showing Hypnos running forwards, holding in his hands poppies and a vessel [...]

Hadrian's Villa, Museum, Mythology, Roman art

Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Marble head of a female divinity, Persephone?

This month’s sculpture from Hadrian’s Villa is a marble head of a female divinity, probably Persephone, the daughter of Demeter and queen of the underworld. The head is closely related to the head of Persephone which is on display in the Museo Barracco in Rome (the Barracco-Budapest type female head, Inv. MB 85), and to the [...]

France, Museum, Mythology, Roman art, Roman villa

The Labours of Hercules reliefs from the Villa Chiragan, Musée Saint-Raymond Toulouse (France)

In honour of Twitter’s international Museum Week (#MuseumWeek), I invite you today to discover some of my favourite sculptures from the collections of the Musée Saint-Raymond in Toulouse (France). The museum is among the best and richest archaeological museums in France and visitors can discover the Roman town of Tolosa (Toulouse in Roman times), the [...]

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, [...]

Antinous, Museum, Mythology, Photography, Roman Portraiture

Statue of Antinous restored as Ganymede, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight (UK)

An over life-size Parian marble statue of Antinous restored as Ganymede can be admired at the Lady Lever Art Gallery at Port Sunlight on the Wirral (near Liverpool, UK). Rediscovered in the late 18th century during a revival of interest for the Classical World, the statue of Antinous was purchased in Italy in 1796 by Thomas [...]

Hadrian's Villa, Museum, Mythology, Spain

Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Eight statues of seated Muses

This month’s masterpieces from Hadrian’s Villa are eight marble statues depicting seated muses. In Greek mythology, the Muses were sister goddesses of music, poetry, and other artistic and intellectual pursuits. Poets and other artists often called on them for inspiration. Zeus, the king of the gods, was the father of the Muses. Their mother was [...]

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 [...]