Fresco with an Architectural Landscape (detail), Roman, about 40 BC, plaster and pigment. Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples, 9423. Photo: Giorgio Albano Fresco with an Architectural Landscape (detail), Roman, about 40 BC, plaster and pigment. Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples, 9423. Photo: Giorgio Albano

The Getty Villa is modeled on the Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum. Buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79, the ancient villa was rediscovered and explored by subterranean tunnels in the 1750s and '60s and was partially re-excavated in the 1990s and early 2000s. It has yielded colorful marble and mosaic floors, frescoed walls, a large collection of bronze and marble statuary, and a unique library of more than a thousand papyrus scrolls. This exhibition presents many of the most spectacular finds and examines attempts to unroll and decipher the carbonized papyri.

Major support from Elizabeth and Bruce Dunlevie
Generous support from the Spogli Family Foundation
Additional support from the J. Paul Getty Museum's Villa Council

Organized in collaboration with the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, the Parco Archeologico di Ercolano, and the Biblioteca Nazionale “Vittorio Emanuele III” di Napoli.

With special thanks to The Italian Cultural Institute, Los Angeles, our hospitality partner Casa del Mar, and the Museo Archeologico Virtuale, Ercolano.

Selected Works

Video

Virtual Unwrapping Discover how scientists are exploring the promise of cutting-edge digital technology to non-invasively unroll and decipher hundreds of recovered papyri that remain closed.

Ivories from the Ashes Recent excavations near a seaside pavillon uncovered luxurious wood and ivory furniture components. Find out what they may have looked like in antiquity.

The Drunken Satyr Learn about the manufacture, restoration, and conservation of the Drunken Satyr, a spectacular bronze statue of a mythical follower of the wine god Bacchus.

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