Friday, April 26, 2013

Pompeii and Herculaneum

I recommend the British Museum's Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibition. It's arranged in the style of a Roman house so you go into each room, dining room, garden, bedroom, kitchen etc and see the appropriate excavated decorations and objects. The heat from the volcanic ash was far greater in Herculaneum than in Pompeii. Consequently much furniture and food were carbonised. It's quite something to see Roman wooden furniture and a bowl of figs nearly 2000 years later. There's a wooden cradle, without the baby and blanket which were found with it, and an inlaid stool. My favourite objects are the murals: stunning garden scenes with many varieties of flowers and birds and wonderful pictures of reclining diners as well as a rather charming portrait of a woman doing her hair as she looks in a hand held mirror.
At the end, there are a few plastercasts made from the voids left in the ash by the bodies which are very moving. There's a man sitting on the floor, his knees touching his chest, his hands over his eyes: despair at the inescapable horror around him.


Blogger Angus said...

Thank you . We'd heard conflicting reports. Will however go in May.

6:18 am  
Blogger Eurodog said...

Will try and come over to see it.

8:45 am  

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