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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, 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… Continue reading Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Three mosaic panels with bucolic scenes

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

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

Antinous, Hadrian's Villa

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

This month’s sculpture from Hadrian’s Villa is a marble head of Antinous, one of the ten marble images of Antinous found there. This portrait of Antinous is conserved in the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme in Rome. It is related to a coin type minted in the city of Adramyttium in Mysia (modern Edremit, Turkey) by… Continue reading Art and sculptures from Hadrian’s Villa: Marble head of Antinous

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

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

Hadrian, Hadrian's Villa, Italy

Picture of the day: The circular temple dedicated to the Venus of Knidos, Hadrian’s Villa (Tivoli, Italy)

The temple dedicated to the Venus of Knidos is a small circular temple with doric columns situated on the Temple Valley at Hadrian's Villa.  It belongs to the latest building phase at the villa, between AD 133 and 138. The circular plan of the central structure, the use of the Doric order, and the discovery of… Continue reading Picture of the day: The circular temple dedicated to the Venus of Knidos, Hadrian’s Villa (Tivoli, Italy)