Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Standing woman holding a shield: From Room H of the Villa of P. Fannius Synistor at Boscoreale, ca. 40–30 b.c.; Late Republican
    Roman
    Wall painting; Fresco: 70 x 40 1/4 in. (177.8 x 102.2 cm)
    Rogers Fund, 1903 (03.14.7)

    This fresco from the villa at Boscoreale depicts a woman clad in a white chiton and blue cloak, and holding a gold shield in her right hand. The front of the shield shows the image of a standing nude male figure who is adorned with a white headband, the same as those worn by Hellenistic dynasts. This small male figure has been described as a reflected image on the shield, a popular motif in Hellenistic art. However, since there is no image in the fresco cycle that corresponds to a reflection, the figure should be understood as an apparition, which, in antiquity, was viewed as prophetic. The small apparition with a portraitlike head in this particular fresco may refer to a Hellenistic royal heir, and the woman bearing the shield may represent a priestess or prophetess.

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    On view: Gallery 164
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  • Standing woman holding a shield: From Room H of the Villa of P. Fannius Synistor at Boscoreale, ca. 40–30 B.C.; Late Republican
    Roman
    Wall painting; Fresco: 70 x 40 1/4 in. (177.8 x 102.2 cm)
    Rogers Fund, 1903 (03.14.7)

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