Exhibition, Hadrian, Museum, Roman Portraiture

A head of Hadrian from a private art collection on show at Musée du Quai Branly in Paris

Art has always been an important part of human existence. Over time, individuals have taken great pleasure from beautiful things and sought to acquire lavish personal collections. The first known cases of individuals seeking to accumulate art collections were in Hellenistic Greece more than 2,000 years ago. The Attalids are usually considered the first art… Continue reading A head of Hadrian from a private art collection on show at Musée du Quai Branly in Paris

Antinous, Exhibition, Museum, Roman Portraiture

A Portrait of Antinous, in Two Parts

An international team including members of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Palazzo Altemps Museum in Rome and the University of Chicago used new technologies to make an improbable discovery about two portraits of Antinous. The years of research that led to this discovery were the focus of an exhibition titled "A Portrait of Antinous,… Continue reading A Portrait of Antinous, in Two Parts

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… Continue reading The Hadrianic Tondi on the Arch of Constantine

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

Nerva–Antonine dynasty, Photography, Roman Portraiture

The Nerva-Antonines in Florence

The Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence is one of the oldest and most famous art museums in the world. In addition to Renaissance masterpieces including works from Botticelli, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, the Uffizi houses one of the world’s most important collections of ancient Roman and Greek statues. The Medicis' interest in ancient art started… Continue reading The Nerva-Antonines in Florence

Palmyra, Roman Portraiture, Syria

The ancient people of Palmyra, Syria

The recent developments in the Middle East have drawn the attention of the world to the magnificent ruins of the ancient city of Palmyra. Its impressive remains were brought to light by travellers, first in 1678, and by archaeologists in more recent times. Equally impressive are the numerous representations of the inhabitants of the city… Continue reading The ancient people of Palmyra, Syria

Antinous, Hadrian's Villa, Museum, Roman Portraiture

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

This month’s sculpture from Hadrian’s Villa is a marble head of Antinous depicted as the god Dionysos, the closest Greek equivalent to the Egyptian god Osiris. It was  unearthed in 1769 during excavations undertook by the art dealer and archaeologist Gavin Hamilton who secured it for Lord Lansdowne. The latter was an avid collector of… Continue reading Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: The Lansdowne Antinous

Archaeology News, Hadrian, Hadrian portrait, Roman Portraiture, Spain

Exquisite marble bust of Hadrian found in Spain

Today I was thrilled to discover that a beautiful bust of Hadrian had been excavated at the archaeological site of Los Torrejones in the Region of Murcia in Spain. The bust, characterized by its excellent condition, was discovered during archaeological digs at the site which ran from October to December 2014. It was only unveiled… Continue reading Exquisite marble bust of Hadrian found in Spain

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

Hadrian, Hadrian portrait, Israel, Judaea, Museum, Photography, Roman Army, Roman Portraiture

Bronze statue of Hadrian from the legionary camp at Tel Shalem (Judaea), Israel Museum

A magnificent bronze statue of Hadrian, now on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, was found by chance by an American tourist in Tel Shalem (Beth Shean Valley, Israel) on 25th July 1975 while searching for ancient coins with a metal detector. Tel Shalem was once occupied by a detachment of the Sixth Roman… Continue reading Bronze statue of Hadrian from the legionary camp at Tel Shalem (Judaea), Israel Museum