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Upcoming Exhibition

Roman Landscapes

October 15, 2021–January 09, 2022

Cowden Gallery

Wall painting with Odysseus and the Laestrygonians (detail), Roman, mid-1st century B.C., pigment on plaster, 69 1/3 x 165 3/4 in. (176 x 421 cm), Vatican Museums, 41016. Photo © Governorate of the State of Vatican City - Directorate of the Vatican Museums, all rights reserved. Further reproduction prohibited.


Roman Landscapes: Visions of Nature and Myth from Rome and Pompeii

Roman Landscapes: Visions of Nature and Myth from Rome and Pompeii will be the first exhibition in the United States to explore the rich body of landscape imagery in ancient Roman art. The exhibition will feature landscape scenes in a variety of media, including wall paintings, sculptures, mosaics, and cameo glass and silver vessels, from archaeological sites in Italy. These works depict a fascinating yet imaginary vision of a countryside replete with seaside villas and rural shrines, where gods and mythological heroes mingle with travelers, herdsmen and worshippers. 

Drawing on this material, Roman Landscapes will invite visitors to develop a more nuanced understanding of “landscape” as a genre and will encourage them to recognize the complexity of these seemingly naturalistic depictions of the outdoor world. Roman Landscapes will introduce the Museum’s audiences to the political, social, religious, and artistic significance of these works created between the first century BC and the second century AD and will introduce the distinctive artistic conventions for representing space and narrative that are typical of Roman landscapes and set them apart from landscape scenes in later European art. 

Many of the artworks have never before been shown in the United States, among them, two panels of the celebrated Odyssey Landscapes, a series of wall paintings depicting episodes from Homer’s Odyssey that were found in Rome and are now in the Vatican Museums. Other works in the exhibition will be lent by museums in Italy, Germany, and the U.S. 
 

Roman Landscapes: Visions of Nature and Myth from Rome and Pompeii is organized by the San Antonio Museum of Art. This exhibition has been made possible in part by the National Endowment of the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom and is generously funded by the Helen and Everett Jones Endowment, the bequest of Gilbert M. Denman, Jr., the Russell Hill Rogers Fund for the Arts, and the Herrmann-Zeller Foundation. Additional support has been provided by Dana McGinnis, the Marcia & Otto Koehler Foundation, the Consulate General of Italy in Houston, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation/Association of Art Museum Curators Affiliated Fellowship of the American Academy in Rome, Louis J. Lamm, Jr., and Tom Edson.

    

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Exhibition Gallery

Wall painting with Odysseus and the Laestrygonians, Roman, mid-1st century B.C., pigment on plaster, 69 1/3 x 165 3/4 in. (176 x 421 cm), Vatican Museums, 41016. Photo © Governorate of the State of Vatican City - Directorate of the Vatican Museums, all rights reserved. Further reproduction prohibited.

Relief with a herdsman and cow before a sanctuary, Roman, late 1st century B.C.-mid-1st century A.D., marble, 11 3/4 x 13 1/4 in. (29.85 x 33.65 cm), State Collection of Antiquities and Glyptothek Munich, Photograph by Renate Kühling

Cup with Bacchic ritual scenes (the Morgan Cup), Roman, early 1st century A.D., cameo glass, h. 2 1/2 in. (6.2 cm), rim diam. 3 in. (7.6 cm), Collection of the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY. Gift of Arthur A. Houghton, Jr.

Cup with Bacchic ritual scenes, Roman, early 1st century A.D., silver with traces of gold leaf, Height: 11.1 cm (4 3/8 in.); diameter: 10.1 cm (4 in.); width: 16.8 cm (6 5/8 in.), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, William Francis Warden Fund, Frank B. Bemis Fund, John H. and Ernestine Payne Fund and William E. Nickerson Fund, 1997.83, Photograph © 2020 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Relief with a sanctuary and offerings, Roman,  1st century A.D., marble, Height x width: 11 5/8 x 7 11/16 in. (29.5 x 19.5 cm), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Classical Department Exchange Fund, 1979.613, Photograph © 2019 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Wall painting with a landscape scene, Roman, from the Villa of N. Popidius Florus, Boscoreale, early-mid 1st century A.D., pigment on plaster, 93 3/8  × 45 3/4 in. (237.17 × 116.21 cm), Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund, Photo: David Stover © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Wall painting with a landscape scene (detail), Roman, from the Villa of N. Popidius Florus, Boscoreale, early-mid 1st century A.D., pigment on plaster, 93 3/8  × 45 3/4 in. (237.17 × 116.21 cm), Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund, Photo: David Stover © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Relief with Paris on Mount Ida, Roman, 1st century A.D., Marble, 13 1/2 x 18 x 3 1/4 in. (34.29 x 45.72 x 8.25 cm), Saint Louis Art Museum, Museum Purchase 75:1942

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