The J. Paul Getty Museum

Fresco Fragment with Four Cupids Hanging Garlands

Object Details


Fresco Fragment with Four Cupids Hanging Garlands






Italy (Place Created)


A.D. 50–79



Object Number:



38 × 46 × 4.4 cm (14 15/16 × 18 1/8 × 1 3/4 in.)

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Object Description

One of a pair of Roman fresco panels (see also 72.AG.81 ) that were originally part of the same wall. Both frescoes depict scenes of Cupids and Psyche (Cupid’s beloved) engaging in everyday activities—a popular humorous subject in Roman art, especially wall painting. In this panel, three Cupids sit on benches and string flowers together, while Psyche examines a garland hanging from an architectural structure with four columns.

This fresco fragment was part of a larger scheme of painted decoration for a wall in a wealthy home. The painting style, categorized by scholars as Fourth Style, is the last style of Roman wall painting, and combines the spatial vistas of the Second Style with the fantastic architecture of the Third Style. It was popular from approximately 63 B.C. until A.D. 79, when Pompeii and Herculaneum were destroyed. The houses excavated at those sites show that a panel like this one would have been a minor element of the wall's decoration, subsidiary to a large panel with a mythological or architectural motif.


- 1972

Elie Borowski, Polish, 1913 - 2003 (Basel, Switzerland), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1972.

Collector's Choice: J. Paul Getty and His Antiquities (November 18, 2009 to February 8, 2010)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa (Malibu), November 18, 2009 to February 8, 2010

Vermeule, Cornelius, and Norman Neuerberg. Catalogue of the Ancient Art in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1973), p. 48, no. 100.

Fredericksen, Burton B., Jiří Frel, and Gillian Wilson. Guidebook: The J. Paul Getty Museum. 4th ed. Sandra Morgan, ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978), p. 38.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Appointment Calendar (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1981), Week of February 9.