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A impressive fresco showing Narcissus gazing at his own reflection was discovered in Pompeii during the new excavations being carried out at the site, the interim director of the archaeological site, Alfonsina Russo, announced last week.
Pompeii superintendent Massimo Osanna explained that the myth of narcissus it was "a very common artistic topic in the ancient city."
He added that “the whole environment is permeated by the theme of joie de vivre, beauty and vanity, which we can also see throughout different figures throughout the city.
Regarding the fresco, he explained that “it probably dates back to the last years of Pompeii, as evidenced by the extraordinary state of preservation of the colors ”.
The discovery was made during an excavation in the Regius V section of the ancient Roman city, and came a few months after the discovery of another spectacular fresco representing Jupiter taking the form of a swan, to impregnate the Spartan queen Leda.
In the space where the narcissus fresco, “Delicate floral ornamental elements abound, interspersed with griffins, cherubs, still lifes and scenes of fighting animals,” he explained.
The harmony of these designs extended to the ceiling, which collapsed and was under the volcanic stones when Vesuvius eruptedbut its fragments have been recovered and expert restorers will put them back together ”.
“In the atrium of Narciso, the still visible trace of a staircase that led to the upper floor is also very interesting, but the very space of the staircase that was used as a warehouse is important, and where glass containers have been found, eight amphorae and a bronze funnel; along with a bronze ‘title’ ”.
Images: Archaeological Park of Pompeii.
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