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Encyclopedia > Erotic Art in Pompeii

Ancient Pompeii was full of erotic or pornographic frescoes, symbols, inscriptions, and even household items. The ancient Roman culture of the time was much more sexually permissive than most present-day cultures. Pompeii is a ruined Roman city near modern Naples in the Italian region of Campania. ... Pornography (from Greek πορνογραφία pornographia — literally writing about or drawings of harlots) (also informally referred to as porn, porno, and more recently, pr0n) is the representation of the human body or human sexual behaviour with the goal of sexual arousal, similar to, but (according to some) distinct from, erotica. ... Fresco by Dionisius representing Saint Nicholas. ...

When the serious excavation of Pompeii began in the 18th century, a clash of the cultures was the result. A fresco on a wall that showed the ancient god of sex and fertility, Priapus with his extremely enlarged penis, was covered with plaster and only rediscovered because of rainfall in 1998.[1] In 1819, when king Francis I of Naples visited the exhibition at the National Museum with his wife and daughter, he was so embarrassed by the erotic artwork that he decided to have it locked away in a secret cabinet, accessible only to "people of mature age and respected morals." Re-opened, closed, re-opened again and then closed again for nearly 100 years, it was made briefly accessible again at the end of the 1960s (the time of the sexual revolution) and has finally been re-opened in the year 2000. Minors are not allowed entry to the once secret cabinet without a guardian or a written permission. (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... Bronze sculpture, House of the Vettii, Pompeii In Greek mythology, Priapus was a fertility god, protector of livestock, fruit plants, gardens and male genitalia. ... The penis (plural penises) or phallus (plural phalli) is the external male sexual organ of some animals, and, in mammals, the external male organ of urination. ... 1998(MCMXCVIII) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ... 1819 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Francis I (August 14, 1777 - November 8, 1830) was King of the Two Sicilies from 1825 to 1830. ... By todays standards Fragonards The Swing is rather tame, but in the 18th century this painting of a courtiers mistress being in a position where another man can look up her skirts was considered highly erotic. ... The 1960s in its most obvious sense refers to the decade between 1960 and 1969, but the expression has taken on a wider meaning over the past twenty years. ... The sexual revolution was a substantial change in sexual morality and sexual behavior throughout the West in the late 1960s and early 1970s. ... This article is about the year 2000. ...

==Erotic art== As previously mentioned, some of the paintings and frescoes became immediately famous because they represented erotic, sometimes explicit, sexual scenes. One of the most curious buildings recovered was in fact a Lupanare (brothel), which had many erotic paintings and graffiti inside. The erotic paintings seem to present an idealised vision of sex at odds with the reality of the function of the lupanare. The Lupanare had 10 rooms (cubicula, 5 per floor), a balcony, and a latrina. It was one of the larger houses, perhaps the largest, but not the only brothel. The town seems to have been oriented to a warm consideration of sensual matters: on a wall of the Basilica (sort of a civil tribunal, thus frequented by many Roman tourists and travelers), an immortal inscription tells the foreigner, If anyone is looking for some tender love in this town, keep in mind that here all the girls are very friendly (loose translation). Also, in the Thermae suburbanae (near Porta Marina - [2]), the only known Roman artwork describing a sapphic (lesbian) scene was recently discovered. The function of these pictures is not yet clear: some authors say that they indicate that the services of prostitutes were available on the upper floor of the house and could perhaps be a sort of advertising, while others prefer the hypothesis that their only purpose was to decorate the walls with joyful scenes (as these were in Roman culture). The Termae were, however, used in common by males and females, although baths in other areas (even within Pompeii) were often segregated by sex. Collected below are high quality images of erotic frescoes, mosaics, statues and other objects from Pompeii and Herculaneum. Lower quality images (in terms of preservation) can be found on Erotic art in Pompeii (low quality). See also: Gallery of Pompeii and Herculaneum Prostitution is the sale of sexual services, such as oral sex or sexual intercourse, for money. ... The Basilica of St. ... Graffiti on the banks of the Tiber river in Rome, Italy. ... Ancient Greek bust of Sappho the Eresian. ... Lesbian describes a homosexual woman. ... This page collects erotic images of paintings and objects in Pompeii of comparably low quality. ... This is a gallery of a few very interesting images and objects from ancient Pompeii, preserved by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE. Erotic images and a discussion there of can be found in a separate article. ...


Erotic images from Pompeii

The older version of the painting is from Schefold, Karl: Vergessenes Pompeji: Unveröffentlichte Bilder römischer Wanddekorationen in geschichtlicher Folge. München 1962. Schefold explains (p. 134) that the picture was locked away "out of prudishness" and was only opened on request. Also note the much more brilliant colors in this only slightly older version. Here is a retouched version of the younger, higher resolution image to use the same colors.

The mural of Venus from Pompeii was never seen by Botticelli, the painter of The Birth of Venus, but may have been a Roman copy of the then famous painting by Apelles which Lucian mentioned. In classical antiquity, the sea shell was a metaphor for a woman's vulva. Venus is a Roman goddess principally associated with love, broadly, although not completely, equivalent to Greek Aphrodite and Etruscan Turan. ... The Birth of Venus is a painting by Sandro Botticelli. ... Another Apelles was the founder of a Gnostic sect in the 2nd century; Apelles (theologian). ... The hard, rigid outer calcium carbonate covering of certain animals is called a shell. ... In language, a metaphor is a rhetorical trope defined as a direct comparison between two seemingly unrelated subjects. ... Complete external female genital anatomy Appearance of the vulva Labeled picture of external female reproductive anatomy. ...

Erotic objects from Pompeii

Bronze wind chimes of "phallus-animals" were apparently common household items. Note the child on one of the wind chimes -- the large phallus was not seen as threatening. Bronze is the most popular metal for cast metal sculptures; a cast-metal sculpture of bronze is often called a bronze. ...

Erotic objects from Herculaneum

Marble sculpture of the God Pan copulating with a goat
Marble sculpture of the God Pan copulating with a goat

Image File history File links Pan. ... Image File history File links Pan. ...


  1. ^ As reported by the epd press agency in March, 1998.

  Results from FactBites:
Erotic art - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (793 words)
Erotic art covers any artistic work including paintings, sculptures, photographs, music and writings that is intended to evoke erotic arousal or that depicts scenes of love-making.
A further distinction needs be made between erotic art and pornography, which also depicts scenes of love-making and is intended to evoke erotic arousal, but is by definition not fine art.
Whether or not an instance of erotic art is obscene depends on the standards of the community in which it is displayed.
  More results at FactBites »



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