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Identification and Creation
Object Number
1943.9
Title
Wall painting fragment with lion
Classification
Paintings
Work Type
painting
Date
1st century CE
Places
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe, Campania
Period
Roman Imperial period, Early
Culture
Roman
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/291741
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Pigment on plaster
Technique
Fresco painting
Dimensions
H. 26 x W. 26.7 cm (10 1/4 x 10 1/2 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • label: On the top of the wooden frame appears a handwritten, cursive word possibly in chalk. There is also an old Fogg Art Museum label on the back of the frame with the former loan number 137.27.
Provenance
Edward W. Forbes, Cambridge, MA, (by 1943) gift; to Fogg Art Museum, 1943.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Edward W. Forbes
Accession Year
1943
Object Number
1943.9
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
This square fragment shows a floating lion on a bright, gold ground. The lion faces right in a 3/4 profile and turns his head to look over the right shoulder. A thin ribbon encircles his neck with the two ends billowing behind his head. Though the white paint used to delineate the animal is partly worn, attention to detail is visible in the carefully highlighted paws.
Commentary
Brightly colored wall paintings often decorated the interior, and sometimes exterior, of Roman buildings. The fragment shown is just one small part of a much larger decorative scheme that would have covered an entire wall. Floating decoration, such as animals or human figures, are sometimes shown in the center of large, colored panels and are particularly frequent in paintings from the mid-first century CE.
Subjects and Contexts

Roman Domestic Art

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu