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 [...]

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 [...]

Tondi adrianei on the Arch of Constantine, Northern side - right lateral, LEFT: Lion hunt, RIGHT: Sacrifice to Hercules
Antinous, Hadrian, Italy, Roman art, Roman Portraiture, Rome

The Hadrianic Tondi on the Arch of Constantine

The Arch of Constantine, dedicated on 25 July 315 AD, stands in Rome between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill, at what was once the beginning of the Via Triumphalis. As described on its attic inscription, it commemorates Constantine’s victory at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge on 28 October 312 AD over the tyrant [...]

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 [...]

The Gymnasium with its columned palaestra, built over the ruins of an ealier Hellenistic gymnasium in the 2nd century AD during Trajan and Hadrian's reign after Salamis had been greatly damaged in 116 AD during Jewish revolt, Salamis
Archaeology Travel, Cyprus, Museum, Roman art

Wandering along the colonnade of the Gymnasium of Salamis, Cyprus

Once a thriving port city on the island of Cyprus, the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite, Salamis offers a tantalizing glimpse into the vast history of the island. The ruins of the ancient city occupy an extensive area (one square mile) extending along the sea shore against the backdrop of sand dunes and a forest of acacias.  [...]

The Engine Room, Centrale Montemartini, Rome
Archaeology Travel, Italy, Museum, Roman art, Rome

When in Rome… a visit to the Centrale Montemartini

During a recent trip to Rome, I paid a long overdue visit to the Centrale Montemartini, an annexe of the Capitoline Museums located on the Via Ostiense just beyond Porta San Paolo. Centrale Montemartini was Rome's first electrical power station when it opened in 1912, and was later converted into a museum of ancient Roman [...]