This large painting fragment comes from the west wall of the exedra (Room L), opening off the rear of the villa's peristyle. A sacrificial bull's head (boukranion) originally occupied the center of the wall, from which an opulent garland of fruits and leaves is suspended to left and right against a brilliant wall of simulated masonry. Preserved are parts of four of the original five red slabs of the central zone, separated by golden bands and crowned by a white molding. There follows a course of alternating green and golden blocks that bears an elaborate entablature consisting of a white architrave, a purple frieze decorated with brackets in the form of bearded horned snakes with interlacing tails, and a white cornice. Hanging from a red cord tied in the bull's mouth is a wicker basket, the cista mystica, its lid removed to reveal a snake uncoiling from a bed of ivy. Suspended from the garland also in red cords are a cymbal and a satyr mask.
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Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 376, pp. 324-25, 479, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Pappalardo, Umberto. 2008. The Splendor of Roman Wall Painting. pp. 44-5, Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum.
Harvey, Sarah M. 2010. "Iron Tools from a Roman Villa at Boscoreale, Italy, in the Field Museum and the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology." American Journal of Archaeology, 114(4): pp. 697–714.
Bergmann, Bettina. 2010. "New Perspectives on the Villa of Publius Fannius Synistor at Boscoreale." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 67(4): pp. 20–21, fig. 31.
Barbet, Alix and Annie Verbanck-Piérard. 2013. La Villa Romaine de Boscoreale et Ses Fresques, Vol. I and II. pl. XIII, Arles: Errance.