|Alexander the Great - Mosaic from the 'House of the Faun', Pompeii (detail)|
|Octopus vs. Lobster (detail of mosaic from the House of The Faun, Pompeii)|
There are also mosaic-decorated pillars, more cats, another guard-dog mosaic.
Another room worth visiting is the 'Gabinetto segreto' (secret room). This is not so much secret as segregated - it contains lots of erotic art - originally, in the early 19th Century, the room was closed, and only those who were "of mature age and well known morality" were granted permits to view the "infamous monuments of heathen licentiousness".
It was then open during the Garibaldi period, and closed under the fascist regime, until 1967! Now it is open again, although there is a sign outside in four or five languages warning it may not be suitable for younger visitors..
Some of the artworks, such as the 'Venus in a golden bikini' are quite unexceptional.
Others, however, such as the statue of Pan with a she-goat, are more startling, to modern eyes! There are also paintings taken from one of the lupanares (brothels) in Pompeii, with paintings showing different acts and positions, and various Herms, votive offerings (how often do you see a cupboard entirely full of penises?) and paintings, mosaics and statues leaving nothing to the imagination!
After which it was quite soothing to go and look at charming, if at times confusing, paintings from Pompeii - a cupid with a pair of shoes, for instance.
|Portrait of the baker, Terentius Neo, and his wife|
As well as the Pompeian art, there are also lots of sculptures, some of which were also found in Pompeii or Herculaneum
This lady -> is one of five statues found at Herculaneum, and still pristine.
One of the most famous sculptures in the museum is the 'Farnese Bull', which used to stand in Rome.
It is colossal.
And while I can't approve of celebrating the habit of tying ladies to enraged bulls, (even if they have been misbehaving) you have to admire the craftsmanship involved!
As you do with the other sculptures.
(the dog, incidentally, is part of a table leg. He is one of the 3-heads of a dog emerging from the stomach of the sea-monster, Scylla, attacking Ulysses' sailors. But you probably knew that.)
all in all, it's a fascinating museum, and I'm very glad that I had the time and opportunity to go.