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Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Herms of Tragedy and Comedy

This month’s sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa are a pair of marble herms whose heads are traditionally identified as Tragedy and Comedy. According to the Italian archaeologist Giovanni Battista Visconti, both herms were found in 1735 by the owner of the Villa, Giuseppe Fede, near the entrance of the Greek Theatre. It was acquired in 1777 by Conte… Continue reading Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Herms of Tragedy and Comedy

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

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

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… Continue reading When in Rome… a visit to the Centrale Montemartini

Augustus, Italy, Roman art, Roman Frescoes, Roman villa, Rome

When in Rome… visiting the House of Augustus on the Palatine Hill

Last year Rome celebrated the 2000th anniversary of Emperor Augustus’ death. To commemorate the date, a series of special events and openings were launched in the Italian capital, including the opening of new parts of the ‘House of Augustus’ and ‘House of Livia’ on the Palatine Hill. After years of restoration works, new lavishly frescoed… Continue reading When in Rome… visiting the House of Augustus on the Palatine Hill

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

Museum, Roman art

Artefact: The so-called Trivulzio Diatreta Cup, a late Roman luxury glass

A splendid example of highly prized workmanship from the 4th century AD, the Trivulzio Diatreta Cup (known by the name of the collector who brought it to Milan in the 18th century) is a luxury cup consisting of an inner beaker and an outer cage of decoration with circular geometrical patterns and an inscription. The… Continue reading Artefact: The so-called Trivulzio Diatreta Cup, a late Roman luxury glass

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

Archaeology Travel, Lusitania, Museum, Mythology, Photography, Portugal, Roman art, Roman Mosaic

Roman mosaics from Lusitania (Portugal)

Among the most impressive Roman remains that can be seen today in Portugal are the large, prosperous farms and luxurious villas built in the countryside by the elite. The villas were splendidly decorated with mosaics, frescoes, and sculptures. Some of the mosaics, still in situ or exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Lisbon, are often very… Continue reading Roman mosaics from Lusitania (Portugal)

Archaeology Travel, Gallia Belgica, Gladiator, Museum, Roman art, Roman Mosaic

The Gladiator Mosaic at Nennig, Germany

Underfloor heating, winemaking, aqueducts and road networks, the Romans brought many things with them when they arrived and settled in the Moselle valley over 2,000 years ago. Luxurious installations are to be found in the remains of the rural farmsteads. Some of them were almost palace-like in their dimensions and were decorated with splendid mosaics.… Continue reading The Gladiator Mosaic at Nennig, Germany