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Archeological Object

Fresco depicting Medea and her children (8977)

Fresco depicting Medea and her children (8977)

The fresco, painted in Fourth Style, depicts Medea as she is about to kill her children. The woman, who stands on the right in front of the colonnade of the house of Jason at Corinth, brings her hand to the hilt of the sword which is still in its scabbard, held in her left hand in a vertical position. She looks right, with a melancholic expression, towards the two boys who are playing knuckle bones around a quadrangular base, supervised by a pedagogue who stands in front of a door. The attention of the viewer is captured almost entirely by Medea’s eyes and gaze which clearly reflect the mixture of tension and sadness at what she is about to do. Pliny (Naturalis Historia, XXXV, 136) tells us that the theme, known from other copies, of which three are kept in the Archaeological Museum of Naples (inventory numbers. 8976, 111440 and 114321) is taken from a famous fresco by Timomachos of Byzantium.

Further information
Codici (Label is not translated)
  Ente_competente: Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici delle Province di Napoli e Caserta
  SGTI: Medea medita l'uccisione dei figli
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: First floor, Room LXXII
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: 8977
  INVD: 1863 post
Modalita_di_reperimento (Label is not translated)
  SCAN: Casa dei Dioscuri
  DSCD: 1824/00/00-1825/00/00
Dati_tecnici (Label is not translated)
  MISU: cm.
  Height: 127
  Width: 104
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)

Helbig 1868, n. 1262, pp. 270-271; Monaco, Ancient frescoes, n. 13, p. 6; Ruesch 1360; Reinach 1922, n. 4, p. 195; Marconi 1929, p. 44, figg. 47-48; Rizzo 1929, p. 44, tav. LXXVI; Elia 1932, n. 119, p. 66; Schefold 1957, p. 121; de Franciscis 1963, p. 72, tav. XXXVII; Ragghianti 1963, p. 37, tav. 155; Collezioni Museo 1989, I,1, n. 196, pp. 150-151; Ling 1991, p. 135, fig. 140; Simon 1991, p. 239, fig. 55; LIMC VI,1, 1992, p. 388, s.v. Medeia, n. 10; LIMC VI,2, 1992, p. 195; PPM IV, 1993, n. 223, p. 975; Simon 1993, p. 273, fig. 55; De Caro 1994, p. 177; De Caro 1999, pp. 143-144; De Carolis 2000, p. 69; De Caro 2001b, p. 18.