Portraits

The most famous faces on the paintings from Pompeii

By Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli

Saffo (55-79 d.C.)Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli

Sappho

The
girl portrayed in the medallion has been identified as the poetess
Sappho. This is due to her thoughtful look, displaying concentration
before writing, and to the objects she holds: the wax tablets in her
hands and the stylus brought to her lips.

Terentius Neo e la moglie (55-79 d.C.)Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli

Terentius Neo and his wife

This
painting, described by the archaeologist Maiuri as the most beautiful
portrait in Pompeian painting, depicts the baker Terentius Neo and
his wife, the bakeress.

The picture represents a typical provincial bourgeois, showing off like a refined aristocrat, being portrayed with the toga and a roll of papyrus.

His wife has a trendy hairstyle - which allows us to date the painting between 55 and 79 AD - and she wears dangling earrings with pearls.

Giovane con rotolo (55-79 d.C.)Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli

Young man with a scroll

The young man, crowned with ivy, is slightly turned to the right and has a faraway look in his eyes. He brings a roll of papyrus to his chin.

Giovane con rotolo (50-79 d.C.)Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli

In the House of the Cenacle, in Pompeii, two panels depict two brothers, both crowned with laurels.

Giovane con rotolo (50-79 d.C.)Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli

They still have the typical characteristics of a child's face, even if of different age, and they can be of almost aristocratic appearance.

On the parchment we read the word Plato, to underline the cultural aspirations of the portrayed characters.

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