The public will be able to admire some rich décor and wall paintings in the House of the Golden Bracelet, one of the most famous houses in the grand complex of urban mansions in Insula Occidentalis located in the far west of the ancient city. It has been closed to the public for decades due to on-going renovation and development that will eventually allow access to the entire complex on completion.
The Exhibition was inaugurated by Director General Massimo Osanna and the managing curators.
The grand complex of urban mansions in Insula Occidentalis is situated in the far west section of the ancient city on four scenic terraces that spectacularly descend towards the sea. It offers visitors an emblematic testimony of the Roman taste for splendid and elegant abodes. Frescos, mosaics and décor create a place where you could experience the joy of life, absorbed in the sophisticated beauty of paintings, either filled with cultured literary references or portraying lush gardens opening out onto green fields with blending perfectly with floor mosaics of coloured marbles from every region of the empire and with spectacular water features. The exhibition ‘TREASURES UNDER THE LAPILLI. Décor, frescos and jewels from the Insula Occidentalis’ offers the public the possibility to admire some rich décor and wall paintings in the House of the Golden Bracelet one of the most famous houses in the complex, which has been closed to the public for decades due to on-going renovation and development that will eventually allow access to the entire complex on completion. This house owes its name to a big golden bracelet, which weighs 610 g and was worn by one of the victims trying to flee. The bracelet is on display and on one end it features two facing snake heads holding in their fangs a disc with a bust of the goddess Selene's (Moon). The goddess is a maiden whose head is crowned by a half moon surrounded by seven stars, and she raises her arms to hold a billowing veil. Similarly, another fugitive was carrying a small wooden and bronze box containing 40 gold and 175 silver coins. This is also on display. At the moment of the eruption in 79 A.D., two adults and a child sought shelter in the under-stairs cupboard of one of the service rooms in the luxurious House of the Golden Bracelet. The victims who found death in this place can be commemorated thanks to the casts on display. The house had a big triclinium with sophisticated frescos, like the depiction of Alexander and Roxane’s Wedding, as well as one showing Ariadne and Dionysus on Naxos (here on display) hinting at the theme of happy marital unions. During the summer, banquets were held on the lower floor, in a luxurious triclinium in a big green open space, that was refreshed by the waters of a monumental nymphaeum covered with polychrome fritware mosaics, shells and lava foam giving a cave-like appearance as was the fashion at the time. This nymphaeum is on view in the exhibition. For reasons of space requirements amongst others, the big, famous, frescoed wall with scenes of a garden, hailing from the House of the Golden Bracelet in Pompeii is remarkably exhibited at the Antiquarium of Boscoreale, following its return from the Grand Palais of Paris, were it had been on display in an exhibition called ‘Jardins’ with works by Fragonard, Monet, Cézanne, Klimt, Picasso and Matisse from 15 th March to 24 th July 2017.