Getty Villa
Page 3 of 4

October 1, 2009
Posted December 22,  2009
© 2009, Herbert E. Lindberg

This page is part of a multi-tour visit with Walt and Hazel:


We continue onto Page 3 with no further introduction:

Muse; Roman, from Cremna (in present-day Turkey), about A.D. 200; Marble, pigment, and gold

The Muses were nine goddesses of the arts and sciences who inspired poets and philosophers. The drapery and leaning pose of this figure identify her as Polyhymnia (Muse of mime). All four Muses in this gallery were originally displayed in a single building in Cremna that was used for the worship of Roman emperors.

Muse; Roman, from Cremna (in present-day Turkey), about A.D. 200; Marble, pigment, and gold

Each of the nine Muses, daughters of Jupiter (king of the gods), presided over and inspired a specific branch of the arts and sciences. In fact, the word "museum" denotes an institution filled with their presence. The clothing and pose of this figure identify her as Euterpe (Muse of music), who is usually shown holding the aulos (double pipes).

Youth as a lamp bearer (information in next photo)

Statue during excavation

Group of Wine Vessels

Bowls and a group of rhyta (spouted horns) were for drinking wine. Rhyta aerated wine as it was poured through the horn into a bowl. These elaborate vessels were probably never used and may been given as expensive grave gifts.

Net-Pattern Bowl; Parthian, 100-1 B.C., Silver, gold and garnet; weight: 433.8 grams

This elaborate bowl is a remarkable example of the achievements of ancient silversmiths. The pattern is composed of rows of staggered pentagons, each with a unique floral design and a central garnet.

Grave Monument of Publius Curtilius Agatus, Silversmith; Roman, made in Italy A.D. 1-25, marble

Carved in high relief, a silversmith works at his craft. Holding a mallet (now damaged) and a punch, he fashions the figure of a dancing satyr on the outside of a small cup. His toga and ring indicate his wealth and status as a Roman citizen. The Latin inscription-- "P[ublius] Curtilius P[ubin] Agat[us] Faber Argentarius" --states his name and profession and the fact that he is a freed slave.

The style of this relief is typical of funerary monuments commissioned by freed slaves, some of whom were professionals with significant wealth. Such portraits were set into the facades of tombs lining the roads leading out of Rome. While most of these reliefs were carved in travertine (a type of limestone). Publius Curtilius was able to afford high-quality marble.

The Marbury Hall Zeus; Roman, made in Italy, A.D. 1-100, Marble

King of the Olympian gods, Zeus is depicted here as a powerfully built, bearded man seated on his throne. He originally held a scepter in his left hand and a thunderbolt in his right, symbols of his authority over the natural world. This Roman sculpture was inspired by the monumental gold and ivory statue of Zeus created by the Greek sculptor Pheidias (about 490-430 B.C.} for the god's temple at Olympia. The Olympian Zeus was considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world--praised by ancient writers and widely reproduced.

After this statue was found on the grounds of the Villa d'Este in Tivoli, Italy, in the late 1700s, it was used as the decorative centerpiece of one of the villa's fountains. The work was sold to James Hugh Smith Barry in 1781 and became part of his sculpture collection at Marbury Hall in England. Since then it has been called the Marbury Hall Zeus.

Gravestone of Phanokrates; Greek, made in Smyrna (in present-day Turkey), about 200 B.C., Marble

The youth Phanokrates is commemorated here with his slave attendant at his side and with objects that represent his wealth and education. Phanokrates has an eagle-headed sword at his waist, a large ivy-leaf pin on his right shoulder, and, on the ledge above his head, wax writing tablets and a chest containing book rolls. He wears a short-sleeved tunic with a medium-length cloak.
    Note: This description doesn't seem to match the gravestone in the picture below, which was displayed next to this text.

Grave Monument of Popillius and Calpurnia; Roman, A.D. 1-20, Marble

The side-by-side arrangement of the deceased in a window-like box, as well as the style of the carving, are typical of monuments made for freed Roman slaves. Families of deceased freemen placed such panels on the facades of family tombs that lined the roads leading out of Rome The panels announced the elevated social status of freemen and their heirs, who were henceforth freeborn.

Sarcophagus Panel with the Myth of Endymion and Selene; Roman, about A.D. 210, Marble

On this fragment of a Roman sarcophagus, the mythological story of the love of Selene, the moon goddess, for the beautiful young mortal Endymion provides an allegorical message of hope for the deceased. In the center of the scene, Selene alights from her chariot. Accompanied by Erotes, she approaches the sleeping Endymion. Hypnos, the god of sleep, stands behind Endymion, holding a branch of poppies and pouring sleeping potion over him; by these means, Endymion sleeps eternally, in order to remain with the immortal goddess. The youth's tranquil sleep parallels the peaceful sleep of death. At the far right, the artist showed a later moment in the story. Her evening tryst with the sleeping Endymion over, Selene has remounted her chariot and prepares to fly back to the sky.

Gallery of female busts and statues

Faustina the Elder; Roman, from Asia Minor (present-day Turkey), A.D. 140-160, Marble

Faustina the Elder (died A.D. 141), wife of Emperor Antoninus Pius (Ruled A.D. 138-161) was deified upon her death, and temples were established for her worship. Here the sculptor created an instantly recognizable public image that was suitable for a temple. He combined Faustina's distinctive facial features and hairstyle with a standard female body type called the Large Herculaneum Woman, name for its size and the site where the first example was found. The nose of this statue was missing, but conservators recently reconstructed a new one based on other portraits of the empress.

Faustina the Elder, close-up

Oil Containers Shaped as Female Heads

Woman Wearing a Jeweled Scarf; Greek, 100-1 B.C., Bronze and silver, Aryballos

Woman with Arched Eyebrows; Greek, made in Athens, about 470 B.C., Terracotta, Aryballos

Woman with an Upswept Hairstyle; Etruscan, 200-100 B.C., Bronze, Aryballos

Ensemble of Jewelry; Greek, made in South Italy, 525-500 B.C., Silver, gold, and bronze

Comprised of dress pins, appliqués, and other luxurious items, this rare group of ornaments was made during the Archaic period (700-480 B.C.). One of the heads depicts Medusa with tusk-like fangs protruding from her open mouth. The others represent korai (young women) and kouroi (young men).


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