Fresco panel

Imperial Period
about A.D. 14–62

Findspot: Italy, Campania, near Pompeii, Villa of the Contrada Bottaro

Catalogue Raisonné

Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 132-133.


Height x width: 100.5 x 113 cm (39 9/16 x 44 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



The panel shows fantastic architecture on black ground. Two Ionic columns support a coffered ceiling; within, doorway with a tragic mask in the center can be seen. A reed supports a yellow disc with black center, originally painted with white; the disc could be a shield which originally had a bust painted in the center field (an “imago clipeata”). The fresco has been executed in an ornate, colorful style that uses reds, yellows, and blues.


1901/1902, excavated by Gennaro Matrone (d. 1927) in a room on the south side of the peristyle of the Contrada Bottaro Villa, about a half-mile south of Pompeii; ownership granted by the Italian State to Gennaro Matrone. October 30, 1924, sold by Prof. U. Marcellini (dealer), Naples, to Brummer Gallery, New York (stock nos. P1429-P1432); 1925, sold by Brummer Gallery to the MFA for $5805 [see note]. (Accession Date: March 5, 1925)

NOTE: MFA accession nos. 25.44 – 25.47 were purchased together for this amount.

Credit Line

Richard Norton Memorial Fund