Pompeii: Its Life and Art

By August Mau; Francis W. Kelsey | Go to book overview

CHAPTER LIII
SCULPTURE

THE open squares and public buildings of Pompeii were peopled with statues. The visitor who walked about the Forum in the years immediately preceding the eruption, saw on all sides the forms of the men of past generations who had rendered service to the city, as well as those of men of his own time.

Besides the five colossal images of emperors and members of the imperial families, places were provided in the Forum for between seventy and eighty life size equestrian statues; and behind each of these was room for a standing figure. Whether all the places were occupied cannot now be determined, but from the sepulchral inscription of Umbricius Scaurus (p. 418) it is clear that as late as the time of Claudius or Nero, there was yet room for another equestrian figure. Statues were placed also in the Forum Triangulare and occasionally at the sides of the streets.

In the portico of the Macellum were twenty-five statues; the sanctuary of the City Lares contained eight, while the portico of the Eumachia building furnished places for twenty-one. But only one of the hundreds of statues erected in honor of worthy citizens has been preserved, that of Holconius Rufus, the rebuilder of the Large Theatre; the figure was dressed in the uniform of a military tribune, and stood on Abbondanza Street near the Stabian Baths. With this should be classed the portrait statues in the temple of Fortuna (p. 131), and those of Octavia (Fig. 38), Marcellus (Fig. 39), and Eumachia.

The statue of Eumachia is an interesting example of the ordinary portrait sculpture of the Early Empire (Fig. 255). The pose is by no means ungraceful, the treatment of the drapery is modest and effective. The tranquil and thoughtful

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