Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Home Thematic views image gallery Mosaic emblem depicting marine fauna (9997)
Up one level
Archeological Object

Mosaic emblem depicting marine fauna (9997)

Mosaic emblem depicting marine fauna (9997)

The mosaic, in First Style, is framed by a mixture of plants, kraters, drinking cups, flying cupids, birds and small animals. It depicts several species of edible fish found in the Mediterranean, while in the lower right corner and in the centre of the left-hand side, there is a coastal landscape over which a kingfisher hovers ready to dive. Around the central scene, which features a fight between an octopus and a lobster, numerous types of fish are arranged uniformly over the entire surface, including a prawn, a bass, a murex shell, a moray eel, a scorpion fish, a gilthead and a ray. The theme, known from other copies (Aquileia, Palestrina, Rome, Palermo and Susa), of which one, from House VIII, 2, 16 in Pompeii housed in the Archaeological Museum of Naples, derives from a late Hellenistic model, probably an Alexandrian painting from the first half of the second century BC. The depiction of marine fauna, which was already widely used on Attic and especially Italiot red figure “fish-plates”, developed considerably during the Hellenistic period both from a naturalistic perspective and in terms of a literary-gastronomic trend popular among the Hellenistic courts. This mosaic also reflects the diffusion of Hellenistic culture in Samnite Pompeii, probably influenced indirectly by the Roman holiday villas which dotted the entire Bay of Naples. Originally positioned in the triclinium of the famous House of the Faun, the mosaic was made by a skilled workshop capable of using thousands of small polychrome mosaic tessarae to the best possible effect to obtain an exceptionally harmonious and balanced composition. It reflected the desire to portray the delicacies of the sea which, together with the delicacies from dry land exemplified by the objects in the frame, were customarily offered to his guests the master of the domus.

Further information
Codici (Label is not translated)
  Ente_competente: Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici delle Province di Napoli e Caserta
  SGTI: fauna marina
Localizzazione_geografico-amministrativa (Label is not translated)
  PVCS: Italia
  regione: CAMPANIA
  provincia: Napoli
  comune: Napoli
  LDCT: palazzo
  Name: Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli
  Indirizzo: Piazza Museo, 19 - 80135
  Location: Mezzanine floor, room LX, no. 1b
Altre_localizzazioni_geografico_amministrative_reperimento (Label is not translated)
  PRVS: Italia
  regione: CAMPANIA
  provincia: Napoli
  comune: Pompei
Dati_patrimoniali (Label is not translated)
  Inventory number: 9997
  INVD: 1870 post
Dati_tecnici (Label is not translated)
  MISU: cm.
  Height: 118
  Width: 118
Dati_analitici (Label is not translated)
  Inscriptions - text:

Condizione_giuridica_e_vincoli (Label is not translated)
  CDGG: proprietà Stato
Fonti_e_documenti_di_riferimento (Label is not translated)

Monaco, Mosaics, n. 36, pp. 9-10; Ruesch 195; Reinach 1922, n. 8, p. 370; Pfuhl 1923, II, n. 945, p. 861, III, tav. 697, p. 342; Rizzo 1929, p. 81, tav. CLXXXVI; Blake 1930, p. 138, tav. 50,4; Elia 1932, n. 400, pp. 139-140, fig. 52; Pernice 1938, n. 1, pp. 149-151, tav. 53; Palombi 1950, n. 2, pp. 429-431; Gullini 1956, p. 22, tav. VII,1; Meyboom 1977, n. A, p. 51, figg. I-Ia; de Vos 1979, p. 168; Moreno 1987a, p. 176, fig. 109; Collezioni Museo 1989, I ,1, n. 8, pp. 116-117; Zevi 1991b, I, p. 236; PPM V, 1994, n. 30, pp. 106-107; Pompei 1996, n. 5, p. 207, tav. 64; Zevi 1998, pp. 32-33; De Caro 1999, p. 72; Homo Faber 1999, n. 17, p. 65; Pompeii 1999, n. 17, p. 65; Pompeii 2000, n. 8, p. 70; De Caro 2001a, p. 54; Guidobaldi et al. 2002, pp. 222-224; Natural History 2002, p. 322, figg. 226-227; Malinowski 2003, fig. 98.