Sunday, May 23, 2010

National Museum of Rome

Bill and I last visited the then, newly-opened, Museo Nazionale Romana ten years ago on our last visit to Rome. It amazed us then and it is still a wonder. What a treasure trove of art treasures of ancient Rome. Bill took this picture of one of our favourite statues in the museum, a portrait of Emperor Augustus as Pontifax Maximus, from Ostia, the old seaport of Rome - late Hadrianic Period, 27 BC to 14 AD.
I love this head of Apollo, Rome, 2nd Century BC. When I do my photo portraits of men I always have images like this in the back of my mind.
I'm also inspired by images like this marble "herm". (98 to 117 AD). I like the calm inwardness.
Bill loved the room of sculpture inspired by Roman theatre, like these wonderful statues of Dionysus.
Here's another of my inspirations. A Roman copy of the Greek Discus-thrower. I think you can see why I like taking pictures of Mediterranean men.
Bill found this lively group decorating a sarcophagus.
There are very few surviving Greek statues. I caught this three-quarter back view of what has been called the "Hellenistic Prince". It's a bronze from the 2nd century BC, and was found in Rome during construction excavations the the end of the 19th century.
Bill is only pretending to run up the museum stairs. I think we were showing of our "museum workout". There are always lots of stairs to climb.
On the third floor of the museum are astonishing frescoes. We were amazed by how loosely painted these were -- very modern. This is from the hall of a private house in Rome from 30 to 20 BC. They are painted on a white background because it was a dark room and it needed light.
Here is Bill's picture of another loosely painted figure from the same house.

The National Museum is also rich in classical mosaics. Here's one of Bill's pictures. We didn't write down the dates for this one, but you get the idea.
Here's one of my details from a rather large and ambitious mosaic with many figures, from the 1st century BC. I love the expressions on these characters. So we hope you can see that if you love classical art you are not going to want to miss the National Museum.

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