Roman pastoral

Here are some images from a visit to the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, part of the National Roman Museum.

The Museum has an overwhelming collection of art from ancient Rome – sculptures, mosaics, paintings, inscriptions – and I photographed myself stupid (like all of the city’s museums they seem happy to allow you to snap away as long as there’s no flash).

I was particularly fascinated by the mosaics and paintings on the museum’s top floor, much of it recovered from the first century villa of Livia, wife of the Emperor Augustus. These are decorated with little vignettes of everyday scenes, quite different from the monumental art usually associated with ancient Rome. Many of them look like they were dashed off by the artist in a few minutes, and they retain their freshness and humour 2,000 years on.

Click the thumbnails to view the full versions. The photos are also available as a Flickr gallery.