LACMA Presents Opulent Portraits, Frescoes, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts Excavated From Lost City

April 27, 2009

Press Preview: Wednesday, April 29, 10am-12noon

LOS ANGELES, April 27 /PRNewswire/ — LACMA presents Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture around the Bay of Naples, on view at LACMA May 3 through October 4, 2009. Having premiered at the National Gallery of Art, the exhibition features rare ancient works of art excavated from the houses of the urban elite in Pompeii and from nearby villas along the shoreline of the Bay of Naples.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090427/LA05863)

This region first came to be known as a major artistic center during the first century BC, a time when artists created sculpture, paintings, mosaics, and decorative arts for patrons in Pompeii.

The exhibition is organized in five sections:

Patrons and Proprietors

This section features images of people who lived in the maritime villas and the luxurious houses of Pompeii who owned the types of artworks in the exhibition. Works include frescoes depicting porticoed seaside villas and marble and bronze portraits of individuals. Artful gold jewelry that belonged to ancient elites is also on display.


As seen in this gallery, Roman villas and houses were richly decorated with frescoes and moveable furnishings. An elegant highlight of the exhibition is a dining room from the site of Moregine on the Sarno River south of Pompeii. Discovered in 1959 and further excavated in 1999-2001, the frescoes were removed in order to preserve them from flooding.

Courtyards and Gardens

In this portion are frescoes depicting gardens that convey the tranquility of these places designed for thought and relaxation. Evoking the garden setting of Plato’s Academy, which is portrayed in a mosaic in this section, gardens were also sites of learning and metaphors for the sacred grove.

Taste for the Antique

Demonstrated in this section is the Roman reverence for classical Greek antiquity. The taste for the classical style is exemplified by a marble relief with a scene from the Trojan War, a marble head of the well-known type of the Athena Lemnia by Pheidias, and a drawing on marble depicting a Greek fighting a centaur.

Rediscovery and Reinvention

Here the exhibition focuses on the impact of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century rediscovery and excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum on the art and culture of the modern world.

Media Contact: LACMA Press Relations at press@lacma.org or 323 857-6522

General Information: LACMA is located at 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles CA, 90036.

SOURCE Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Source: newswire

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