Murrhine Vases in the British Museum

The Barber Cup, 50-100 AD, Fluorite, Diameter: 6.40 cm, Height: 15 cm (total), British Museum, London, UK https://www.artfund.org/supporting-museums/art-weve-helped-buy/artwork/9125/the-barber-cup
The Crawford Cup, 50-100 AD, Fluorite, Diameter: 10.70 cm, Height: 9.70 cm, British Museum, London, UK https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/G_1971-0419-1

Fluorite(or Fluorspar) crystals were among the most highly prized gemstones in ancient Greece and Rome. In numerous Latin works, the word ‘murrina’ (today, known as murrhine) is used elliptically to designate a certain category of costly vessels, known asvasa murrina.’ Suetonius, for example, tells us that Augustus, of all the royal riches he was presented with in Alexandria… he set aside for himself, one object only, a murrhine vase… The two Murrhine Vases in the British Museum, rare and precious, are worth exploring.  https://www.jstor.org/stable/24191123?read-now=1#page_scan_tab_contents Alain Tressaud and Michael Vickers, Ancient Murrhine Ware and Its Glass Evocations, Journal of Glass Studies, Vol. 49 (2007), pp. 143-152 (10 pages), Published by: Corning Museum of Glass

The two Murrhine Vases in the British Museum were discovered by an Austro-Croat officer during the First World War near the then border between Turkey and Syria, in what was once ancient Cilicia. Apparently, he first discovered a marble cist which contained a lead casket containing some gold medallions, a two-handled stone ‘cup’, covered with ashes, and a slightly taller stone ‘jug’ with one carved handle, also covered in ashes. Shortly after World War I, the officer who discovered this amazing treasure, sold both of ‘his’ stone vases, but to two different buyers.

The Barber Cup, 50-100 AD, Fluorite, Diameter: 6.40 cm, Height: 15 cm (total), British Museum, London, UK https://www.artfund.org/supporting-museums/art-weve-helped-buy/artwork/9125/the-barber-cup

The ‘jug,’ today known as the Barber Cup, went to a Greek dealer of antiquities who sold it to Baron Adolphe Stoclet, the wealthy Belgian engineer, financier, and noted collector, from whose estate the British Museum acquired it in 2004, thanks in part to the British Museum Friends and it is now named in honour of their former Chairman, Nicholas Barber. The acquisition of the Barber Cup was generously funded by the Art Fund and the Caryatid Fund as well. https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/the-barber-cup/2wEO5TvohhMDUw

The Barber Cup (details), 50-100 AD, Fluorite, Diameter: 6.40 cm, Height: 15 cm (total), British Museum, London, UK
https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/G_2003-1202-1
The Barber Cup (detail), 50-100 AD, Fluorite, Diameter: 6.40 cm, Height: 15 cm (total), British Museum, London, UK
https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/G_2003-1202-1

According to Dyfri Williams, the shape of the Barber Cup has been carved from a single piece of a mineral known as fluorspar and is richly veined with purple, green, yellow, and white. The cup has been further decorated with a low-relief panel of vine leaves, grapes, and tendrils, with a bearded head presumably Dionysus or one of his companions, under the handle. The Barber Cup is unusual, and it is likely that the craftsman intended to create a two-handled ‘kantharos,’ but for some reason changed his mind during the carving. The decoration is very carefully cut and can be found in both in Roman silverware and in glass. The date is probably the 1st century AD, and the find-spot in Roman Cilicia and the high quality of the object suggests the rich and cosmopolitan city of Antioch as a place of manufacture. https://ocean.exacteditions.com/issues/92787/spread/49

The Crawford Cup, 50-100 AD, Fluorite, Diameter: 10.70 cm, Height: 9.70 cm, British Museum, London, UK https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/G_1971-0419-1

The two-handled ‘cup,’ today known as the Crawford Cup went to a private collector, who published the story of its discovery. In 1971, the ‘cup’ was presented to the British Museum, a gift by the Art Fund in honour of David Lindsay, 28th Earl of Crawford, chairman of the Fund between 1945-1970. The Crawford Cup was also carefully cut from a single piece of fluorspar, and is richly veined with purple, green, and yellow, but has no additional, like the Barber Cup, low-relief decoration.  It has the shape of a two-handled goblet, or to be more precise, the shape of the ancient Greek drinking cup known as Kantharos. The shape of the Crawford Cup has been compared to the Hellenistic agate Cup of the Ptolemies in the Cabinet des Médailles at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris. https://ocean.exacteditions.com/issues/92787/spread/49

For a Student Activity on the Barber Cup, please… Check HERE!

House of the Deer in Herculaneum

Still Life with Peaches and Water Jar, detail of a Fourth Style wall painting from the House of the Deer in Herculaneum, c. 62-69 C.E., fresco, 35.56 x 34.29 cm, Archaeological Museum, Naples, Italy https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ancient-art-civilizations/roman/wall-painting/a/still-life-with-peaches

According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, a sustainable world is one where everyone counts. Governments, the private sector, academia, and civil society and individuals need to work together in solidarity to prioritize the right of all people to food, nutrition, peace and equality. Indeed, every one of us, including youth, can work towards an inclusive and sustainable future, showing greater empathy and kindness in our actions. On World Food Day, October 16, we need to build a sustainable world where everyone, everywhere has regular access to enough nutritious food. I would like to commemorate this important day by presenting a Still Life painting from the House of Deer in Herculaneum. https://www.fao.org/world-food-day/en

Panoramic View of the House of the Deer in Herculaneum, Italy https://sites.google.com/site/ad79eruption/herculaneum-1/insula-iv/house-of-the-deer

The House of the Deer, built during the reign of Emperor Claudius, is one of the most opulent houses in ancient Herculaneum. Its name comes from a set of statues depicting deer attacked by hounds. The marble sculptural decoration of the Villa, discovered in 1930, was part of its landscaped garden. Apart from the two statues of deer attacked by hounds, archaeologists discovered the statue of a Satyr carrying a Wineskin on his back, and a Drunken Hercules. https://brunelleschi.imss.fi.it/giardinoantico/egar.asp?c=24027&k=24013&rif=24021            

Discovered in 1930, in the House of the Deer, this loaf of sourdough bread was baked on the morning of the 24th of August, 79 CE. It carries the stamp of Celer, a former slave of Quintus Granius Verus. https://bitesizedancienthistory1.wordpress.com/2020/09/05/the-bread-loaf-from-herculaneum/

Interestingly, we know the name of the owner of this house. This was done after the discovery of a bread cake with the seal of a certain Seler, a former slave of Granius Veria. Shortly before the death of Herculaneum, Celer was released by his master with all the rights of a free citizen. https://ermakvagus.com/Europe/Italy/herculaneum/deer_house_herculaneum.html

House of the Deer in Herculaneum Plan
Garden area (32), looking north to the central doorway into Cryptoporticus (28)
Garden area (32), detail of the mosaic decoration of the Great Portal.
Photo courtesy of Robert Hanson
Statue of a deer attacked by four hounds, 1st century AD, white Luna marble. The original statues are exhibited in Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei, in Italy https://herculaneum.uk/Ins%204/Herculaneum%204%2021%20p9.htm and https://twitter.com/planetpompeii/status/1113189803204411399 and https://herculaneum.uk/Ins%204/Herculaneum%204%2021%20plan.htm

The House of the Deer, one of the most luxurious waterfront dwellings so far discovered in Herculaneum, has an interesting layout. It focuses on the axis that runs from the triclinium (5) through the peristyle/garden area (32), and the tablinum (15) to the gazebo (18) set in the center of the panoramic terrace overlooking the Bay of Naples to the south. https://sites.google.com/site/ad79eruption/herculaneum-1/insula-iv/house-of-the-deer

An important part of the House of the Deer was the Cryptoporticus (28-31), a corridor that enclosed the central peristyle/garden (32) area, and opened onto the atrium (24), the triclinium (5), and the tablinum (15). The Cryptoporticus was decorated in the 4th Pompeian Style, featuring more than sixty individual panels. These panels (partly removed in the 18th century) represent scenes with tiny cupids, still-lifes, and various architectural landscapes. https://sites.google.com/site/ad79eruption/herculaneum-1/insula-iv/house-of-the-deer

Still Life with Peaches and Water Jar (left), Still Life with a Silver Tray with Prunes, Dried figs, Dates, and Glass of Wine (center), and Still Life with Branch of Peaches (right)
Still Life with Hen (left), Still Life with Two Cuttlefish, a Silver Jug, Bird, Shells, Snails, and Lobster (center), and Still-life with a Hare and Grapes (right)
Still-Life with Chicken and Hare (left), Still Life with Partridge, Pomegranate, and Apple (second from left), Still Life with Thrushes and Mushrooms (third from left), Still-Life with Partridges and Eels (far right)
Fourth Style wall paintings from the House of Deer in Herculaneum, Italy, c. 62-69 C.E., fresco, 35.56 x 34.29 cm, Archaeological Museum, Naples, Italy
https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ancient-art-civilizations/roman/wall-painting/a/still-life-with-peaches

My favorite panel presents Peaches and a transparent glass Water Jar. It was meant to be seen as a group of three Still Life paintings.  According to Dr. Lea Cline, all ten Still Life panels discovered in the Villa belong to a category of still life paintings known as xenia, that is as hospitality gifts. It is interesting to know that the ancient Greek and Roman hosts were expected to gift their guests with xenia, tokens of their hospitality, instead of receiving gifts as the tradition is today. https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ancient-art-civilizations/roman/wall-painting/a/still-life-with-peaches

For a Student Activity, please… Check HERE!

Treu Head

The Treu Head, c. 140-150 AD, Parian Marble, H. 38.10 cm, British Museum, London, UK
https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/G_1884-0617-1  

Ancient Greek and Roman sculpture was once colorful, vibrantly painted and richly adorned with detailed ornamentation. Chroma: Ancient Sculpture in Color reveals the colorful backstory of polychromy—meaning “many colors,” in Greek—and presents new discoveries of surviving ancient color on artworks in The Met’s world-class collection. Exploring the practices and materials used in ancient polychromy, the exhibition highlights cutting-edge scientific methods used to identify ancient color and examines how color helped convey meaning in antiquity, and how ancient polychromy has been viewed and understood in later periods… write the Metropolitan Museum experts as they introduce their Chroma: Ancient Sculpture in Color (Through March 26, 2023) Exhibition. A modern study of the color scheme of the so-called Treu Head in the collection of the British Museum is interesting to explore. https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2022/chroma

The Treu Head was found on the Esquiline Hill in Rome in 1884 and soon after its discovery was acquired for the British Museum. It is a high-quality Parian marble sculptural piece from a statue of Venus or Minerva, with extraordinarily rich traces of black and red paint on the eyebrows and eyes, and yellow paint on the hair and brow. The flesh is remarkably rendered in pinkish skin colour. This is an insert head. It is finished and painted only on the front side because it was inserted into a larger-than-life sculpture, which was made of a different material. This extraordinary mid-2nd century AD Roman Head was named after the late nineteenth-century German archaeologist Georg Treu who first published his investigations of its preserved colour. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262324723_The_’Treu_Head’_a_case_study_in_Roman_sculptural_polychromy and https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/G_1884-0617-1  

The Treu Head (black and white photo), c. 140-150 AD, Parian Marble, H. 38.10 cm, British Museum, London, UK https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/G_1884-0617-1

Ulrike Koch-Brinkmann and Vinzenz Brinkmann, fascinated by ancient Greek polychromy and supported by Stiftung Archäologie, are instrumental in coloured reconstructions of famous Greco-Roman statues. The Brinkmanns worked hard in the making of polychrome casts of ancient sculptures, as well as publications and scientific documentation (e.g. in the form of film documentaries) on the subject in question. A chief aim of the Stiftung Archäologie was to promote the creation of didactic (cognitive) objects on the basis of scientific research. http://www.stiftung-archaeologie.de/reconstructionsen.html  

Reconstruction Process: Memos and a colour study of the so-called Treu Head (c. 140-150 AD, Parian Marble, H. 38.10 cm) in the British Museum https://www.liebieghaus.de/en/insights/looking-back-40-years-research and https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/G_1884-0617-1

A key piece in their research is the Treu Head in the collection of the British Museum since the late 19th century. According to Vinzenz Brinkmann, it is remarkable that the Treu Head was not cleaned following its discovery, as was the usual practice at the time. As a result, the clear evidence for an evenly applied skin tone over the entire face is of central importance for our basic understanding of the polychromy of ancient statuary. https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2022/chroma/exhibition-objects

Study 1 of the color scheme of the Treu Head, (c. 140-150 AD, Parian Marble, H. 38.10 cm, British Museum, London, UK) 2014 (2022 recreated after loss in 2021), by Vinzenz Brinkmann and Ulrike Koch-Brinkmann, Marble stucco on a plaster cast after a 3-D scan, natural pigments (chromatographically calibrated) in egg tempera, H. 37 cm, Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung (Liebieghaus Polychromy Research Project), Frankfurt am Main, inv. Dep.64 https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2022/chroma/exhibition-objects  

Remarkably rich in traces of different coloured pigments, Treu Head is a valuable source of information in Roman sculptural polychromy. According to Giovanni Verri, Thorsten Opper, and Thibaut Deviese, the head retained extensive traces of its original polychromy, including otherwise rarely preserved skin pigments. Ever since the German scholar Georg Treu published the sculpture in 1889, it has played a significant part in the discussion on ancient sculptural polychromy and in particular the question of whether or not the flesh parts of marble sculptures were originally painted. Examining the Treu Head, the above mentioned scholars, found that complex mixtures of pigments, and selected pigments for specific areas, were used to create subtle tonal variations. The conclusion of their research confirmed beyond doubt the authenticity of the preserved pigments and thereby the sculpture itself, which can now rightfully reassume its important place in the art historical discussion of the polychromy of ancient sculpture. https://www.academia.edu/5842238/G_Verri_T_Opper_and_T_Deviese_The_Treu_Head_a_case_study_in_Roman_sculptural_polychromy_The_British_Museum_Technical_Bulletin_4_2010_39_54

For a PowerPoint on Polychromy, please… Check HERE!

An interesting, Metropolitan Museum Video titled The “Treu Head”: A Virtual Color Reconstruction…  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5iEDtL2I8Y

If you are interested in visiting or browsing through the Metropolitan Museum of Art Exhibition Chroma: Ancient Sculpture in Color (Through March 26, 2023), please Check… https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2022/chroma/visiting-guide and https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2022/chroma/exhibition-objects

The Treu Head, c. 140-150 AD, Parian Marble, H. 38.10 cm, British Museum, London, UK https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/G_1884-0617-1  

Villa Pisanella in Boscoreale

Villa Pisanella, 40-20 BC, Fragment of a Fresco wall decoration from the upper floor of the Villa, featuring a Woman on a black background presenting fruits, Boscoreale Antiquarium, Italy https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Women_villa_della_Pisanella_Pompeii_Museum_Boscoreale.jpg

Boscoreale, write the Metropolitan Museum experts, an area about a mile north of Pompeii, was notable in antiquity for having numerous aristocratic country villas. This tradition endured into the time of the Bourbon kings, as is attested by the region’s name, the “Royal Forest,” which implies that Boscoreale was a hunting preserve. Some of the most important Roman “treasures” surviving from antiquity come from Roman Villas at Boscoreale built shortly after the middle of the first century BC. Villa Pisanella in Boscoreale was buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, but in 1868 excavations by Modestino Pulzella brought it back to a “second” life. During the 1895 excavation period, archaeologists came across a large quantity of gold coins, a few pieces of jewellery and an exceptional collection of silverware afterwards presented to the Louvre by Count Edmond de Rothschild. https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/cubi/hd_cubi.htm and https://sites.google.com/site/ad79eruption/boscoreale/villa-pisanella

Villa Pisanella (old photo), looking North across Area A, the courtyard/peristyle and cella vinaria.
https://www.pompeiiinpictures.com/pompeiiinpictures/VF/Villa_013%20Boscoreale%20Villa%20della%20Pisanella%20p1.htm

Villa Pisanella has been the subject of excavations, or rather of explorations, which date back to the last century, and were essentially aimed at the recovery of “treasures,” now dispersed in various museums, and at the preparation of building archaeological plans. During the 1894 and 1903 seasons, the famous Boscoreale Treasure of gold coins, jewellery, and silver tableware was unearthed, along with many bronze furnishings, household utensils, and parts of the Villa’s unpretentious fresco decoration in the Fourth Pompeian Style. All finds are now dispersed among the Louvre, where the gold and silver artefacts are housed, Berlin, the Field Museum in Chicago, and the Boscoreale Antiquarium in Italy. On completion of the 1894-1903 “excavations,” the villa was reburied. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.04.0006:entry=boscoreale

Plan and Model of the reconstruction of the Villa “alla Pisanella” before the volcanic eruption of 79 AD https://sites.google.com/site/ad79eruption/boscoreale/villa-pisanella

The Villa’s archaeological ground plan shows a modest “Villa Rustica.” It was the headquarters of a farming estate producing olive oil, grain, and enough wine to have two presses and 84 dolia (round fermentation vessels) in its court for fermentation. The owners lived in an apartment arranged in the Villa’s upper story. On the ground floor, archaeologists discovered a single big triclinium, a bath complex, a large kitchen, and the necessary rooms/areas for the management of the farm. http://www.deprisco.it/villapisanella/pisanella.htm

The most important Rooms/Areas in Villa Pisanella are: 1. The letter marks the Entrance of the Villa near the middle of the southwest side as shown in the plan. 2. The letter b marks the Inner Court, wide enough for carts and wagons. 3. Room d is the Villa’s large Kitchen with an open hearth almost in the center of the room, on which the remains of a fire were found, and Room k is the Bakery with a single mill and an oven. 4. Rooms e, f, and g indicate the Bath House of Villa Pisanella beautifully adorned with black and white, simple but elegant, floor mosaics. In the narrow area between Room g and Room i, opening to the Kitchen, archaeologists discovered the Villa’s Boiler Room with a lead-heated water reservoir standing on a masonry foundation. 5. Room i, is the Villa’s main Tool Room. 6. Room J marks the Villa’s only ground-floor Triclinium in which the remains of couches with luxurious bronze trimmings were discovered. 7. The long Room l on the northeast side of the court was the Torcularium where grapes were pressed to produce wine. At each end was a large press with a raised floor. 8. Room r and Room s were dedicated to the making of olive oil containing a small oil press in Room r and an olive crusher in Room s. 9. Area m is the Cella Vinaria, the area where 84 Dolia (round fermentation vessels) were discovered sunk in the ground. Local wine was stored in the Villa’s Dolia to ferment. According to Pliny’s ‘Natural History’ in Campania the best wine underwent fermentation in the open air, exposed to sun, wind, and rain.10. Area o is the Threshing Floor of Villa Pisanella. 11. Rooms marked c, are the Villa’s Cubicula (bedrooms). https://sites.google.com/site/ad79eruption/boscoreale/villa-pisanella

In 1895, while excavating Room l, the Villa’s Torcularium for wine, archaeologists discovered a Hoard consisting of a large quantity of aurei coins (aureus is a Roman gold coin valued at 25 pure silver denarii), a few pieces of valuable jewelry, and an exceptional collection of silverware. After the Hoard’s amazing discovery, Vincenzo de Prisco, the owner of the property where Villa Pisanella was discovered, travelled to Paris where he sold the Boscoreale Treasure, as the Villa’s Hoard was named, to Museums and wealthy collectors. Part of the treasure, 109 pieces of silverware and jewelry, was bought by Baron Rothschild, who donated it to the Louvre Museum. A POST dedicated to the Boscoreale Treasure will be the subject on another BLOG presentation.

For a PowerPoint on Villa Pisanella, please… Check HERE!

Painter at Work!

Painter at Work from the House of the Surgeon in Pompeii, Room L, East Wall, central section, 1st century AD, Fresco, 45×45.4 cm, National Archaeological Museum of Naples, Italy – Credit: Image © Photographic Archive, National Archaeological Museum of Naples https://isaw.nyu.edu/exhibitions/pompeii-in-color/objects/painter

Pompeii in Color: The Life of Roman Painting Exhibition at the New York University Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (through May 29, 2022) presents thirty-five frescoes from the National Archaeological Museum of Naples. Among these important works, all originally from Roman homes is a favorite painting of mine, titled Painter at Work! It comes from the Pompeian House of the Surgeon, and it is a Gem! https://isaw.nyu.edu/exhibitions/pompeii-in-color

The amazing Pompeian fresco of a female painter immersed in her work… observed and admired… “bathed” in “aubergine” tones, attracts our attention, and captivates our eyes. The Questions and Answers that follow, will hopefully help us solve hidden clues, understand the fresco’s importance, and enjoy its charm!

Where was the Fresco titled Painter at Work discovered?

The fresco was found in the House of the Surgeon, in the ancient city of Pompeii, located in the Bay of Naples, or as Cicero would call it, the “the crater of all delights.” Pompeii was the favorite vacation spot of the Roman elite. Roman Emperors and their wives, members of the old aristocracy, and representatives of the new money elite were all, more than enthusiastic to live or vacation on the Neapolitan coast. The name of the House’s owner may not be known, but a toolkit of bronze and iron surgical instruments discovered during excavations is responsible for its modern name.   https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/roman-splendor-in-pompeii-59083755/

Specific facts about When and Where the House of the Surgeon was built: The House of the Surgeon or Casa del Chirurgo is one of the oldest Italic Houses in the city. It was excavated back in 1771 by the Spanish military architect and archaeologist Francesco La Vega. It is located on the East side of the ancient city (Regio VI, Insula i, Doorway 10), about 50 meters inside the Herculaneum Gate, and dates from the Samnite period, between the 3rd and the early 2nd century BC. At the time of the eruption of 79 AD, the House had fallen into a poor state and was undergoing considerable repair work. https://intarch.ac.uk/journal/issue23/3/case_study.html and https://interactive.archaeology.org/pompeii/field/11.html

House of the Surgeon in Pompeii, Italy
https://www.storieparallele.it/la-casa-del-chirurgo-di-pompei/

Where was the fresco of the female Painter at Work discovered? The House of the Surgeon was, once, lavishly decorated with frescoes of the 4th Pompeian Style. Room L, next to the House’s Hortus (Garden), seems special. This is the Room where the Painter at Work fresco was discovered in 1771. The painting was detached, it was considered a protection procedure at the time, and is now exhibited in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, as a framed panel.

Engraving of the Frescoed East Wall of Room L in the House of the Surgeon, in Pompeii. The central painted panel depicts the Painter at Work
Le pitture antiche d’Ercolano, Tomo Setimo, Tabola LXXXII, pag. 365, Napoli : nella regia stamperia, 1757, TH-Bibliothek Zürich https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Delle_antichit%C3%A0_di_Ercolano,_1757-1779_(T._I-VII)_70388_(23839904461).jpg

Describe the Composition: Painter at Work is a wall decoration of a seated woman absorbed in the art of painting! It was discovered in 1771, during the early excavations, in Room L of the House of the Surgeon, in Pompeii. The painting was, at the time, removed, and now is exhibited in the Archaeological Museum in Naples. We do not know the name of the artist who created it, nor the name of the depicted female painter… they are both anonymous, but they both strike us as talented and unique! The portrayed artist sits comfortably on a stool, dramatically framed by a window opening to the sky. The window is bordered by two pillars/posts and is decorated with garlands and a Bucranium. In a faint distance, we can discern a Herm and a Vase standing on a pillar, both typical Hellenistic landscape motives.

The portrayed artist is about to finish her painting of a sculpture that stands in front of her. Her hand reaches back with her paintbrush to a box of pigments balancing on a cylindrical stand… is it the drum of a column? She is looking at the statue of a bearded man… is he God Dionysus as some scholars have suggested? Immersed in her work she is about to put the final touches on her painting placed on the floor directly beneath its model, held by a wreathed boy… is he Cupid? Behind the left Pillar, two richly dressed women stand, looking interested… are they friends, admirers, or sponsors? We can only guess…

There is so much I admire in this small painting! The noble theme of a painting dedicated to the Art of Painting, and thee, by a female artist… The idea of a painting within a painting, with the extra addition of a second small painting hanging on the right pillar… The amazing color scheme employed by the artist, muted aubergine tones and soft sky blues…the atmospheric perspective… and the fainted Hellenistic landscape. This is a grand painting in small size! http://www.pompeiiincolor.com/theme/the-fantastic-and-the-familiar

For more Questions and Answers, please… Check HERE!

The Sarcophagus of the Muses in the Louvre

Sarcophagus of the Muses, c. 150-160 AD, Pentelic Marble, 0.92×2.06 m, the Louvre Museum, Paris, France
https://twitter.com/MuseeLouvre/status/1254455247449317379/photo/1

[36] Come thou, let us begin with the Muses who gladden the great spirit of their father Zeus in Olympus with their songs, telling of things that are and that shall be and that were aforetime with consenting voice. Unwearying flows the sweet sound from their lips, and the house of their father Zeus the loud-thunderer is glad at the lily-like voice of the goddesses as it spread abroad, and the peaks of snowy Olympus resound, and the homes of the immortals. And they uttering their immortal voice, celebrate in song first of all the reverend race of the gods from the beginning, those whom Earth and wide Heaven begot, and the gods sprung of these, givers of good things. Then, next, the goddesses sing of Zeus, the father of gods and men, as they begin and end their strain, how much he is the most excellent among the gods and supreme in power. And again, they chant the race of men and strong giants, and gladden the heart of Zeus within Olympus, — the Olympian Muses, daughters of Zeus the aegis-holder… Writes Hesiod in his Theogony, describing the Muses… the lovely goddesses who dance and sing and inspire poets like Homer, Virgil, Dante, John Milton, and William Blake… Can The Sarcophagus of the Muses in the Louvre help us learn more about them? https://www.theoi.com/Text/HesiodTheogony.html

It does, indeed! According to the Louvre experts… Created around the mid-second century BC, this sarcophagus was probably made for a cultivated Roman anxious to demonstrate his attachment to Greek culture, with models drawn from Greek art. The composition of the frieze, the neutral background and the retrained attitude of the Muses all evoke the classical art of the fifth and fourth centuries BCE. This impression is sustained by the very discreet employment of the drill and the rounded forms of the carefully polished surfaces. The elongated figures of the young women and their almost statuesque appearance, suggested by the depth of the relief, also recall Hellenistic art. Furthermore, each Muse is clearly identified by her attributes and demeanour… https://collections.louvre.fr/en/ark:/53355/cl010278285

Sarcophagus of the Muses, c. 150-160 AD, Pentelic Marble, 0.92×2.06 m, the Louvre Museum, Paris, France
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Muses_sarcophagus_Louvre_MR880.jpg

Let’s Identify them, starting from left to right…

Kalliope… According to Hesiod, Kalliope was the oldest of the nine Muses, the wisest, and the most assertive. As for the Roman poet Ovid, she was the Chief of all Muses! Orpheus was her son and poets since antiquity called upon her for inspiration! Kalliope is the Muse of Epic Poetry, Music, Song, Dance, and Eloquence. Her attribute is the Wax Tablet or the Scroll. Her name means beautiful-voiced.

Thalia… like all nine Muses, was the daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne (Goddess of Memory) and the mother of the Corybantes, the warrior dancers who worshipped goddess Cybele with drumming and dancing. Thalia is the Muse of Comedy and Bucolic Poetry. Among her attributes are the Comic mask, an ivy wreath, and the shepherd’s staff. She is the joyous, flourishing Muse.

Terpsichore… whose name means Delight in Dancing, is fittingly considered the Muse of Dance. Interestingly she is usually, not in the case of the Louvre Sarcophagus, depicted sitting down, holding a lyre, accompanying the dancers’ choirs with her music. Terpsichore was the mother of the dangerous Sirens, who lured sailors with their music and singing voices to shipwreck and death! Her attribute is the lyre.


Euterpe… the Giver of Delight, was, according to ancient Greek poets, the Goddess of Lyric Poetry. Along with her sisters, she entertained the Gods and Goddesses at Mount Olympus, but she also loved to wander around Mount Helicon and Mount Parnassus. Euterpe is credited as the inventor of the Aulos, an ancient Greek wind instrument, often translated as Flute or Double-Flute. The Aulos is her attribute.

  Polyhymnia… Muse of the sacred Poetry, is the most serious looking of all Muses. Often depicted pensive, and meditative, like in the case of the Louvre Sarcophagus, Polyhymnia, whose name means Praise, is often covered in a veil which is her attribute as well. Diodorus Siculus wrote that Polyhymnia, because by her great (polle) praises (humnesis) she brings distinction to writers whose works have won for them immortal fame…

Clio… whose name derives from the Greek root κλέω/κλείω, meaning to make famous or to celebrate. is the Muse of History. She is often presented holding an open scroll or seated beside a chest of books, which are her attributes as well.

Erato… is the Muse of erotic poetry, and mimic imitation. Her name, etymologically, shares the same root as Eros, the god of love! Erato is usually depicted holding her attribute, the Lyre or a Kithara, and she is adorned with a wreath of myrtle and roses!

Sarcophagus of the Muses (Urania and Melpomene), c. 150-160 AD, Pentelic Marble, 0.92×2.06 m, the Louvre Museum, Paris, France
https://mobile.twitter.com/archaeologyart/status/1448317781582172165/photo/1

Urania… the heavenly Muse of Astronomy, is often depicted wearing a cloak covered in stars, looking upwards toward the sky. In the case of the Louvre Sarcophagus, Urania is portrayed as pensive, looking downwards, pointing to the celestial Globe with a staff. In Orphic Hymn 76 to the Muses Urania is beautifully described as heavenly bright.

Melpomene… is the Melodious Muse of Tragic Poetry, the Muse who celebrates with dance and song. Melpomene is often depicted with her attributes… carrying a sword or a dagger, holding the tragic mask, and wearing cothurnus boots which were worn by tragic actors.

For a PowerPoint on The Sarcophagus of the Muses in the Louvre, please… Click HERE!

Interesting information on the 9 Muses can be found… https://www.theoi.com/Ouranios/Mousai.html and https://www.thoughtco.com/the-greek-muses-119788 and https://www.greekmythology.com/Other_Gods/The_Muses/the_muses.html and https://pantheon.org/articles/m/muse.html  

Villa Arianna’s Dionysus and Ariadne Fresco

Lying in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius… Stabiae is home to a group of enormous, sea-edge, Villae Marittimae, which are set on a cliff above the modern town of Castellammare di Stabia. We know of at least six of these villas, built directly next to one another—a sort of Roman high-rent resort district next to the small town of Stabiae. They were beautifully preserved by the eruption of 79 A.D., with standing walls, some of the highest quality frescoes surviving from antiquity, and some of the most innovative garden architecture in the Roman world. On the 13th of October I presented you with information on Villa Arianna, today, on the 11th of December… let’s discuss Villa Arianna’s Dionysus and Ariadne Fresco. https://www.baslibrary.org/archaeology-odyssey/8/1/5

Ariadne on Naxos, 4th Pompeian Style Fresco, Villa Arianna grand Triclinium, Room No. 3, 1st century AD, Stabiae, Italy
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Triclinio_3_di_Villa_Arianna#/media/File:Mito_ri_Arianna.jpg
Villa Arianna Areal View
https://www.stabiaholidayhouse.it/en/visit-to-the-ancient-stabiae/
 Villa Arianna Plan, Stabiae (after Kockel 1985 with corrections by Allroggen-Bedel A. and De Vos M.) https://www.pompeiiinpictures.com/pompeiiinpictures/VF/Villa_102%20Stabiae%20Villa%20Arianna%20plan.htm

Villa Arianna was lavishly decorated with frescoes and portable furnishings, an undisputed testimony of the expensive lifestyle the owners enjoyed, and evidence of their refined taste and style. One such high-quality fresco, drawing inspiration from the myth of Dionysus and Ariadne, gave the Villa its modern name.

Ιmagine the scene… Theseus and Ariadne flee Crete in a hurry. With the help of Ariadne, Theseus had just killed the horrible Minotaur in the depths of Knossos’s palace maze. Their first stop to rest on their way to Athens is the island of Naxos… where the story unfolds dramatically and excitingly. God Dionysus, in love with Ariadne, appears to Theseus in his sleep and convinces him to abandon Ariadne at Naxos and continue his trip alone. Ariadne, unaware of divine intervention disembarks at Naxos enchanted by the beauty of the island, happily explores it, and tired falls asleep on the beautiful islet of Palatia. When she wakes up… god Dionysus, the son of Zeus and Dione, looks at her adoringly and a new love affair is in the making. A glorious wedding follows and an eternal gift is still with us to admire… the constellation known as Corona Borealis is said to be Dionysus’s wedding gift to Ariadne, a special ornament to adorn her beautiful head.

Please take the time to look at the Villa’s Plan, locate Room 3, and imagine a December Symposium night two thousand years ago…

Villa Arianna’s Dionysus and Ariadne Fresco is a small part of Villa’s grand Triclinium decoration. Room 3 is decorated in the 4th Pompeian Style, elaborate and complex as it can be, combining large-scale Narrative Painting, small Panoramic Vistas, and Still Lifes, within an architectural fantasy of pedestals, aediculae, columns, entablatures, and… theatrical masks! The Villa’s grand Triclinium decoration doesn’t resemble any believable space but instead consists of a variety of architectural elements arranged in an unrealistic manner with an unrealistic perspective, set against a flat background. The three large mythological scenes framed in blue on a yellow and red ground above a lower red and black decorative frieze are the room’s main artistic attraction. A panel presenting the myth of Dionysus and Ariadne decorates the South Wall, a rare scene of Lycurgus and Ambrosia is presented on the West Wall, and on the East Wall, the unknown master painter of the grand Triclinium presented the myth of Zeus and Ganymede. https://depts.washington.edu/hrome/Authors/ninamil7/TheFourStylesofRomanWallPaintings/pub_zbarticle_view_printable.html

Room number 3 was Villa Arianna’s grand Triclinium… the main dining room of a luxurious Roman residence, so-called because of the three banqueting couches (klinai) arranged around the walls. All you have to do is… imagine a warm summer night, overlooking the Bay of Naples, in the company of good friends, bathed in the flickering light, and content with scrumptious food… If you were the owner of Villa Arianna, life was good!

For a Student Activity, please… Check HERE!

Ariadne on Naxos, 4th Pompeian Style Fresco, Villa Arianna grand Triclinium – South Wall, (Room No. 3 on the Villa Plan), 1st century AD, Stabiae, Italy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stabiae#/media/File:Villa_Arianna_(Stabia)_WLM_099.JPG
Ariadne on Naxos (detail – Mask  and Landscape scene), 4th Pompeian Style Fresco, Villa Arianna grand Triclinium – South Wall, ( (Room No. 3 on the Villa Plan), 1st century AD, Stabiae, Italy
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Triclinio_3_di_Villa_Arianna#/media/File:Affresco_particolare_7.jpg

The Borghese Dancers

Nicolas Poussin, 1594-1665
A Dance to the Music of Time, about 1634,
By kind permission of the Trustees of the Wallace Collection, London (P108) © The Trustees of the Wallace Collection
https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/poussin-and-the-dance/major-loan-announced-for-poussin-and-the-dance
Relief with Five Dancers before a Portico (The Borghese Dancers), 2nd century AD, Marble, 74×186 cm, Musée du Louvre, Paris, France
Photo: Ilya Shurygin 2014 – http://ancientrome.ru/art/artworken/img.htm?id=8452

Thence, fleet as thought, he leaves the earth for Olympos / and goes to the palace of Zeus and the company of the other gods. / Forthwith the immortals take interest in his song and lyre, / and all the Muses, answering with beautiful voices, / hymn the divine gifts of the gods and the hardships / brought upon men by the immortal gods. . Men live an unresourceful and thoughtless life, unable / to find a cure for death and a charm to repel old age. / And the fair-tressed Graces and the kindly Seasons / and Harmonia and Hebe and Aphrodite, the daughter of Zeus, / dance, each holding the other’s wrist. / Among them sings one, neither ugly nor slight of stature / but truly of great size and marvelous aspect, / arrow-pouring Artemis, Apollon’s twin sister. / And with them play Ares and keen-eyed Argeiphontes; / Phoibos Apollon, his step high and stately, / plays the lyre, enveloped in the brilliance / from his glittering feet and well-woven garment. / And Leto of the golden tresses and Zeus the counselor / rejoice in their great souls as they lookupon / their dear son playing among the immortals. This is how the ancient Greek Poet of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo (186-206) describes the fair-tressed Goddesses of Mount Olympus dance… and I can only think of The Borghese Dancers in the Louvre and the Poussin and the Dance Exhibition at the National Gallery (9 October 2021 – 2 January 2022)… and hope I can somehow see them… in London! https://escholarship.org/content/qt1bt36698/qt1bt36698_noSplash_b06fdd7a1448e726a360295a8d2c7f29.pdf and https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/poussin-and-the-dance

Relief with Five Dancers before a Portico (The Borghese Dancers), 2nd century AD, Marble, 74×186 cm, Musée du Louvre, Paris, France
Photo: Ilya Shurygin 2014 – http://ancientrome.ru/art/artworken/img.htm?id=8452

The Borghese Dancers is named after the Villa Borghese in Rome, where the sculptural piece was originally exhibited above the door of the grand gallery, since the early 17th century. The celebrated Roman relief displays five female figures in clinging draperies dancing to a gentle but measured step. It is a fine work of art, typical of the Neo-Attic sculptural style of the 2nd century AD, that emphasizes grace and charm, serenity, and restrained animation. Could the Borghese Dancers be a portrayal of the Dance of the Horae, the Greek Goddesses of the changing Seasons and Time? Could they be just “dancers” holding hands while moving gracefully in front of a wall with a row of Corinthian pilasters? Difficult questions to answer… In 1807, the Roman relief was purchased by Napoleon Bonaparte, brother-in-law of Prince Camillo Borghese. Between 1808 and 1811 it was sent to Paris where in 1820 it was displayed in the Musée du Louvre… where it can still be viewed today. https://wallacelive.wallacecollection.org/eMP/eMuseumPlus?service=ExternalInterface&module=collection&objectId=65841&viewType=detailView and https://www.worldhistory.org/image/10521/borghese-dancers/ and https://www.capronicollection.com/products/borghese-dancers-item-193 and https://collections.louvre.fr/en/ark:/53355/cl010275681

Nicolas Poussin, 1594-1665
A Dance to the Music of Time, about 1634, by kind permission of the Trustees of the Wallace Collection, London (P108) © The Trustees of the Wallace Collection
https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/poussin-and-the-dance/major-loan-announced-for-poussin-and-the-dance

The sculptural relief, known as The Borghese Dancers in the Louvre has been an amazing source of inspiration for many artists, among them the Baroque French artist Nicolas Poussin, whose paintings of revelry, dance, and drama are brought together in this first exhibition dedicated and titled Poussin and the Dance, at the National Gallery, in London (9 October 2021 – 2 January 2022). The Museum experts tell us how… Poussin’s paintings of dance are unique…  bringing to life the classical world of gods and mortals with wild and riotous movement. The Exhibition, by bringing together the antique sculpture the artist studied, invites us to trace the evolution of his ideas from marble to paper to paint. A pure Joy… Tambourines shake, wine spills, and half-naked figures whirl across the canvas and teach us …invaluable lessons!https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/poussin-and-the-dance and https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/poussin-and-the-dance#VideoPlayer103778

For a Student Activity inspired by The Borghese Dancers, please… Check HERE!

Preparing for the POST I came across and read with great interest Sarah Elizabeth Olsen Dissertation: Beyond Choreia: Dance in Ancient Greek Literature and Culture,  whose Abstract begins… The chorus of Euripides’ Bacchae heralds the arrival of the god Dionysus by promising that “right away, the whole world will dance in a chorus” (αὐτίκα γᾶ πᾶσα χορεύσει, 114). Their exuberant claim reflects the enthusiasm for dance generally expressed in early Greek sources. Indeed, it has been well established that dance – specifically choreia (communal song-dance) – played a significant role in archaic and classical Greek social life and was thus accorded a high level of value and esteem in art and literature… https://escholarship.org/content/qt1bt36698/qt1bt36698_noSplash_b06fdd7a1448e726a360295a8d2c7f29.pdf

Villa Arianna at Stabiae

Villa Arianna Terrace, 1st century AD, Stabiae, Italy
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Terrazza_B_di_Villa_Arianna#/media/File:Arianna_terrazza_B.JPG

During the Archaic period (8th century BC) Stabiae already played an important strategic and commercial role. The city reached its highest population density between its destruction by Sulla (89 B.C.) and the eruption of Mount Vesuvius (79 A.D.). During this period, on the northernmost edge of the Varano hill, many villae were built taking advantage of the panoramic views. They were mainly residential villas, with beautifully decorated large apartments, thermal baths, porticoes and nymphaea. At present, only some of these villas, not entirely excavated yet, can be visited: …Villa Arianna at Stabiae, the most ancient, named after a large mythological fresco on the far wall of the triclinium is one of them…  writes Archaeologist Silvia Martina Bertesago. All I can say is… let’s explore it! http://pompeiisites.org/en/stabiae/

Excavations in Villa Arianna started in 1757 and were conducted by the Swiss engineer Karl Weber, until 1762. At the time, the archaeological site of the Villa was seen more like a treasure hunt exploration site. The Weber team dug underground tunnels, explored the excavated areas, and whatever was discovered and considered of value, like furnishings and frescoes, were detached and taken to the Bourbon Museum at the Royal Palace of Portici. A lot, deemed unworthy or ruined, were left behind and much was ruined by the methods employed by the “archaeologists” of the time. Today, parts of the Villa nearest the sea have collapsed down the cliff and perished forever, extended areas of the site are still buried awaiting excavations, but thanks to a Bourbon-period map showing where tunnels dug and thereafter re-buried, archaeologists resumed excavations in 1950, and proceed with proper scientific research.

Villa Arianna Plan, Stabiae (after Kockel 1985 with corrections by Allroggen-Bedel A. and De Vos M.) https://www.pompeiiinpictures.com/pompeiiinpictures/VF/Villa_102%20Stabiae%20Villa%20Arianna%20plan.htm
 

On the western hills of Varano, and overlooking the Bay of Naples, Villa Arianna, is impressive, to say the least. It is estimated that it covered an area of over 11,000 sq.m., whereas its excavated parts cover only 2,500 sq.m. The villa has an unconventional layout, due in part to its continuous development but also to the sloping nature of the site. As much of the building is still buried, the original floor-plan is quite difficult to interpret. Certainly, the main range of rooms was at the front of the highest of a series of terraces; some of these rooms featured views both of the sea on one side and of the mountains on the other. There was also a long tunnel (B) leading from the stables and farm court under the residential quarters to the shore. https://sites.google.com/site/ad79eruption/stabiae/villa-arianna

Villa Arianna – Entrance to the Archaeological Site – View of Mt Vesuvius, 1st century AD, Stabiae, Italy https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vista_dall%27ingresso_2.jpg

The oldest section of the Villa dates back to the late Republican period (2nd century BC), and develops around its Atrium (24) and the surrounding rooms. The Thermal Baths (6),  the grand Triclinium (3), the summer Triclinium (A), and the surrounding rooms date from the middle of the 1st century AD. The large Palestra, located at the west end of the Villa was added to the complex shortly before the eruption, probably between 60 and 70 AD.

Villa Arianna Atrium (No. 24 on the Villa Plan), 3rd Pompeian Style Frescoes, 1st century AD, Stabiae, Italy
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Atrio_24_di_Villa_Arianna#/media/File:Impluvium.jpg

Villa Arianna was lavishly decorated with frescoes and portable furnishings, an undisputed testimony of the expensive lifestyle the owners enjoyed, and evidence of their refined taste and style. One such high-quality fresco, drawing inspiration from the myth of Dionysus and Ariadne, gave the Villa its modern name.

A presentation of the amazing Frescoes discovered in Villa Arianna will be part of another BLOG POST… Villa Arianna, Part 2

For a Student Activity on Villa Arianna at Stabiae, please… Check HERE!

The Samnite House in Herculanium

The decorated Atrium of the Samnite House in Herculaneum has a Gallery with Ionic Columns and Latticework Screens, 1st century AD, made of painted stucco https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Irelli-Aoyagi-De_Caro-Pappalardo_417#/media/File:Parte_alta.JPG

Herculaneum was a peaceful seaside town which was struck by a succession of pyroclastic flows during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE. It was then covered with 25 metres of volcanic mud. Approximately one third of the town has been excavated. It is notable for the high standard of preservation of the houses and the public baths as well as perishable material such as wood, textiles and papyri. A significant number of high quality painted walls may be seen. The Roman seashore has been exposed during the excavations and a Roman boat has been preserved in a special museum. What a remarkable place to visit… and don’t forget, The Samnite House in Herculanium is a must! https://www.herculaneum.ox.ac.uk/links/visit

If you wonder why… Herculaneum has been preserved like no other site in the world, not even nearby Pompeii. Volcanic ash and mud saved two-story domus homes with the internal architecture and décor intact, including features in wood and marble, decorations, jewelry, and even organic remains like food, providing a unique view into the daily lives of the ancient population of Herculaneum. Among the finest and oldest houses that survived is the Samnite House we will attempt to explore. https://www.visitpompeiivesuvius.com/en/herculaneum

The Samnite House is one of the oldest private residences that has been discovered in Herculaneum, so far, and dates back to the 2nd century BC. It was originally much larger in size, with a three-sided Peristyle Court to the east, followed perhaps by a Hortus area. In the course of the 1st century AD, and for financial reasons, one could suspect, the property changed the plan. A second entrance door leading directly to the second floor was added and the entire upper floor space was rented out. The eastern section of the property, that is the Peristyle and possible Hortus was sold off, allowing a separate residential property, the House of the Great Portal, to be built. What survived of the original property, was a ground-floor house with a huge atrium and six small rooms arranged around it. The owners of the Samnite House… downsized, but part of the original decoration survived… it is unique and worth exploring! https://sites.google.com/site/ad79eruption/herculaneum-1/insula-v/samnite-house

Entrance Corridor and Atrium photo of the Samnite House, late 2nd century BC, Herculaneum, Italy
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e8/Samnite_House_%287254091242%29.jpg

What I like best is the decoration of the original House Fauces, that is the entrance passageway leading to the Atrium. This small area is a “treasure trove” of distinctive examples of late 2nd century BC architectural features. For example, the House Entrance Portal and the Interior Portal leading to the Atrium, are flanked by impressive tufa columns with Corinthian capitals, intricately sculpted… The walls of the Fauces are decorated with rare frescoes in the 1st Pompeian Style, imitating, in vivid earth colours,  polychrome marble… Finally, the Fauces floor, covered with a fine dark red and white mosaic in the Opus Signinum style, is simple, consisting of a scale-type pattern in white. https://sites.google.com/site/ad79eruption/herculaneum-1/insula-v/samnite-house

The Samnite House Atrium is impressive, to say the least! The largest area in the House, includes a central marble impluvium and a well-constructed floor in the Opus Signinum style, as well. The Atrium walls decoration, imitating a fancy two-storey structure, is the main attraction of the whole house! The lower part is decorated in frescoes of the 4th Pompeian Style, while the upper part, really fancy, features a false loggia with Ionic columns closed off with a stucco-lined latticework screen on three of its sides. I particularly like this false loggia decoration as it gives me the opportunity to compare it to another fresco, dated in the early 2nd century BC, coming from Pella, in Greece. https://herculaneum.uk/Ins%205/Herculaneum%205%2001%20p2.htm

For a Student Activity, please… Check HERE!

1st Pompeian Style Wall of the Entrance Corridor of the Samnite House (North Wall – detail photo), late 2nd century BC, Herculaneum, Italy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pompeian_Styles#/media/File:Herculaneum_Wall_1.Style.jpg