Fresco panel

Imperial Period
about A.D. 14–62

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


Height x width: 116.4 x 1.10 cm (45 13/16 x 43 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Classical Roman Gallery (Gallery 213)


The Ancient World



This fresco has fantastic architecture on black ground. An Ionic entablature is supported by two columns, crossed at the outer corner of the architrave by an extended architrave joined by openwork panel, from which hangs a decorated drum or tambourine. Above, on the architrave corner is a siren supporting a reed, from which depend garlands; at left, there is a bird. In the lower left field, a peacock stands on an extended rod. The fresco has been executed in the ornate style.


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. Between October 1925 and March 1926, sold by Prof. U. Marcellini (dealer), Naples, to Brummer Gallery, New York (stock no. P2577); May 25, 1927, sold by Brummer to William Randolph Hearst (b. 1863 – d. 1951), New York; December 30, 1929, returned by Hearst to Brummer Gallery; 1938, sold by Brummer Gallery to the MFA for $15,115 [see note]. (Accession Date: April 14, 1938)

NOTE: MFA accession nos. 38.733 and 38.734 were purchased together for this amount. This was part of a lot of 53 frescoes that had been acquired by Brummer Gallery, sold en bloc to Hearst, and were returned before being sold to the MFA.

Credit Line

Otis Norcross Fund