Yikes! Be careful out there, you guys. They haven’t even found them yet!
Bathing Venus, 1870-80
Black-coated bronze, gilding and semi-precious stones.
Ludovico Pogliaghi (Italian, 1857-1950).
Casa Museo Lodovico Pogliaghi, Varese, Italy.
Funerary monument of Lucius Alfius Statius
Detail from a funerary monument to Lucius Alfius Statius with
relief attributes of a mason, a sculptor and an architect, Roman, 1st century AD.
Museo Nazionale d’Abruzzo, Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy.
Arch of Septimius Severus
Men on horseback near Roman aqueduct, Italy, circa late 19th century.
Fragment from a red-figure bell-krater with Scylla, by the Black Fury Group. From Apulia, South Italy. Greek, c. 375-350 B.C. Terracotta. J. Paul Getty Museum.
Temple of Apollo
Portonaccio, Veii (Veio), Italy
This sanctuary, among the most ancient and venerated on all of Etruria, was outside of the city and on a road leading to the Tyrrhenian coast and the Veii salt flats. Its most ancient nucleus was tied to the cult of the goddess Minerva and a small temple, a square altar, a portico and stairs from the road were built in about 530-530 BC in her honour. The three-cell temple with the polychrome terracotta decorations was erected in about 510 BCE in the western part of the sanctuary. Adjacent to the temple there was a great pool with a tunnel and a fence that enclosed the sacred woods. The temple was in honour of the god Apollo in his prophetic oracle aspect inspired after the Delphi model to which purification ceremonies were tied. Heracles, the hero made god dear to tyrants, and maybe also Jupiter, whose image we have to imagine on the central wall of the temple were tied to Apollo.
By the middle of the 5th century BC, all work on the temple was complete and it began a slow decline while the structures sacred to Minerva were renovated on the eastern sector of the sanctuary. The starting up again of the cult worshipping Minerva, which continued also after the conquering of Veii by Rome (396 BCE) is documented by a splendid series of votive statues of classic and late-classic style boys, such as the famous head, “Malavolta” as to indicate the important role of the goddess in the rituals of the passage from adolescence to adulthood that signalled the fundamental phases of the life of the members of the aristocratic families of Veii. In the 2nd century BCE, the tuff mine that destroyed the central area of the sanctuary was opened causing damage to the temple and the sliding down of material downhill.
ROME — Even as the Italian government and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles continue their decades-long legal battle over ownership of a prized bronze statue, the Italian culture ministry this week asked the California museum to review its records for four other pieces in its collection. The artifacts were stolen or illegally exported from Italy, Italian officials said.
In a letter sent to the Getty on May 9, the Italian culture ministry raised questions about a 19th century painting of the Oracle of Delphi, an ancient Roman mosaic floor decorated with the head of Medusa, and two stone lions.
Officials said that the painting, by the Italian painter Camillo Miola, was stolen in the 1940s from an institute in the city of Aversa, that the mosaic was taken from the National Roman Museum in Rome and that the two lions were stolen from a public square in the town of Preturo, near L’Aquila.
The white marble head unearthed during excavations at the Roman Forum on 24 May is believed to represent a male deity, most likely Dionysus, according to Rome archaeologists.
Initially it was thought that the head – with its feminine features and thick, wavy hairstyle – represented a female goddess.
However, thanks to a band around its head decorated with a “typically Dionysian flower, the corymb, and ivy”, it is now believed to be Dionysus, explained the director of Rome’s archaeological museums Claudio Parisi Presicce.
One afternoon in AD 79 an unusual cloud appeared above Vesuvius in the Bay of Naples. ‘It was raised high on a kind of very tall trunk,’ recalled Pliny the Younger, likening it to an umbrella pine tree, ‘and spread out into branches.’ When, finally, the cloud collapsed and the sky grew dark, some people raised their hands to the gods. Others reasoned that ‘there were now no gods anywhere and that the night would last for ever and ever across the universe’.
There are corners of the ancient cities that have not seen daylight since they were buried in volcanic debris. While excavations officially began in Pompeii and Herculaneum in the mid 18th century, there remains much to uncover, and still more to restore. Next month, an exhibition dedicated to the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum will open at the Getty Villa in LA. Recent finds will be displayed alongside newly analysed treasures including a celebrated bronze ‘Drunken Satyr’. Meanwhile in Pompeii, the shoring up and conservation of the area known as Regio V, in the north of the city, as part of the €105 million Great Pompeii Project, is unearthing some extraordinary works of art.