Jupiter and Anubis in the unique private home at the Baths of Caracalla | Turismo Roma
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Jupiter and Anubis in the unique private home at the Baths of Caracalla

Foto profilo facebook Soprintendenza Speciale Roma
from 25 June 2022 to 31 December 2022

Rare and prized colors, such as Egyptian blue and Cinnabar red pigments, were used for the frescoes of the domus of Vigna Guidi, a small jewel built during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian that was partially destroyed to make way for the construction of the largest and most magnificent Roman baths, around 206 AD. Rediscovered in the mid-19th century, then covered again and brought to light in the 1970s, the domus can now be admired at the end of a long and careful restoration, with an evocative exhibit that is now a permanent part of the Caracalla itinerary.

The name of its owner is unknown, but the mysteries and wonders of the domus do not end there, starting with the structure of the building: a stately home on the ground and second floors, with upper-middle class apartments on the upper floors and a workshop facing the street. But even more surprising are its frescoes. A room in all likelihood dedicated to domestic worship features images of the classical Roman gods (the Capitoline triad with Jupiter, Juno and Minerva) on one wall, and silhouettes of the Egyptian deities Isis, Anubis and perhaps Serapis on other walls: an evidence of the religious syncretism of the time that is, however, unique in Roman art. Still being studied and researched for its overall restoration is a second room, a Triclinium, which will soon be opened to the public: some of the never-before-seen ceiling fragments are already exhibited.

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