ART AND SENSUALITY IN THE HOUSES OF POMPEII An exhibition to recount the central position occupied by sensual and erotic images in the domus of Pompeii


FROM 21st APRIL 2022 TO 3rd SEPTEMBER 202

Press preview

21st April at 11:00

(Piazza Anfiteatro Entrance)

The prevalence of sensual and erotic images at Pompeii has astonished archaeologists and visitors ever since the first discoveries were made in 1748. Images of an erotic nature can be found in all areas connected to everyday life throughout the ancient city, including bath complexes, sanctuaries and household rooms. Yet how to explain their central role in the daily life of Pompeii?

The exhibition entitled ‘Art and sensuality in the houses of Pompeii’, which will be open from the 21st April 2022 until the 3rd september 2023, in the Large Palaestra of the archaeological site, aims to illustrate and recount the extent and significance of sensual and erotic subjects in the domus and in the daily life of the ancient Pompeians.

Among the 70 works on display, all from the storerooms of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, the visitor will also find recent discoveries, such as the two bronze medallions with erotic scenes from the Civita Giuliana ceremonial chariot; the elegant ceiling of the cubiculum (bedroom) from the House of Leda and the Swan, which was found collapsed on the floor, before being reassembled and restored; and the three walls from the cubiculum of the Villa of Gragnano in the Carmiano area, which has been reconstructed following a recent restoration.

The exhibition will be completed with an itinerary to discover various buildings on the site which are characterised by frescoes and references to the theme, with the support of an app, while a guide for children will assist youngsters to visit the exhibition and learn about a series of figures central to ancient mythology.

The exhibition will be presented to the press in a special preview on the 21st April at 11:00, by the curators Gabriel Zuchtriegel, Director of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, and Maria Luisa Catoni, Professor of History and Archaeology of Ancient Art at the IMT School for Advanced Studies, Lucca.

Concluding remarks will be entrusted to Professor Massimo Osanna, Director General of Museums and author, along with Luana Toniolo, of the essay ‘The hidden world of Pompeii: The bride’s chariot, the room of the slaves and recent discoveries’ published by Rizzoli.

The exhibition is sponsored by American Express and by Hotel Caruso A Belmond Hotel Amalfi Coast di Ravello.