search
Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

archaeology
subscribe
Special Introductory Offer!

Well-Preserved Narcissus Fresco Found in Pompeii

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Pompeii Narcissus frescoROME, ITALY—ANSA reports that a well-preserved fresco depicting Narcissus gazing at his own reflection has been uncovered in a house in Pompeii. According to Greek mythology, the beautiful hunter Narcissus, son of a river god and a nymph, was punished by the goddess Nemesis for his treatment of Echo, a mountain nymph who loved him. Nemesis lured Narcissus to a pool where he fell in love with his own reflection and was unable to leave it. Alfonsina Russo, director of the archaeological site, said the room where the Narcissus fresco was discovered had a staircase leading to a floor above it, and a storeroom containing glass containers, amphoras, and a bronze funnel. Massimo Osanna, superintendent of Pompeii Archaeological Park, said other paintings in the house, found in fragments on the floor, depict maenads and satyrs, delicate floral elements, griffins, cornucopia, flying cherubs, and fighting animals. These images were damaged when the building’s ceiling collapsed under the weight of volcanic stones from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, but they will be reassembled. The excavators also uncovered a bronze bucket next to the home’s impluvium—a sunken area designed to collect rainwater from the roof. For more, go to “Return to Pompeii.”

Advertisement

Advertisement


Advertisement