May 18th, 2009

Roman Frescos and Mosaics

In Rome, there is an amazing series of museum buildings and collections that make up the Museo Nazionale Romano. My favorite (I just visited for the third time!) is the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme which is located a block away from the Termini train station. Iwrote a post about it before, in fact. I always head straight to the second floor (which is actually the third as they don’t “count” the first. I think it’s a conspiracy to get you up those many stairs.) That is where the frescos and mosaics from the excavations of nearby Roman villas are housed.


The most famous fresco, of course, is the Villa Livia garden fresco and it is recreated in its own room.


This has to be one of the most copied works of Roman art by decorative painters working today. Not hard to figure out why. The simple painting in predominantly soft blue and green colors is truly breathtaking.




The other recovered frescos there are just as inspiring, and many are housed in their own rooms with as many pieces as they could find placed in so that you can get the sense of how it looked in the original space.


Some of the rooms contain fragments of bas relief plaster. Unfortunately these rooms are dark and roped off, but I leaned in as far as I could…. I only wish I could have captured more. There is so much delicate decorative detail in these pieces!


I showed this mosaic already in the previous post, but it’s my favorite so I’ll show it again! The smallest mosaic pieces in this work are 1/8″ square. The colors are just to die for!

So-when in Rome……Palazzo Massimo alle Terme!

4 Responses to “Roman Frescos and Mosaics”

  1. kim longo Says:

    This museum truly does have an amazing collection. I have to say though that the entire city is “eye candy” everywhere you turn. To be able to live where so much history was made and art created is an incredible gift that I understand many Italians do actually appreciate.

  2. grace wieber Says:

    I love Livia ! You are correct, we love to reproduce the Frescoes of Prima Porta – Especially the one with the bird perched on the Pomegranate Tree. Ahhh – so dreamy !

  3. Gayle Mace Says:

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  4. Sweed Says:

    keep up the good posting!! lol..