Fragment of a wall painting with Bacchus, mid 1st century CE
Overall: 48 in x 30 5/8 in x 5 5/16 in; 121.9 cm x 77.8 cm x 13.5 cm
Gift of Caroline R. Hill
This Pompeian fresco fragment probably once decorated the triclinium (dining room) of an upper-class Roman domus (house). Dining and drinking parties took place in the triclinium and frescoes like this, stretching from floor to ceiling, provided visual stimulation for the guests. In antiquity, frescoes were polished and sealed with mirror-like wax, adding a brilliant shine to the already striking decorative scheme.
This fragment depicts Bacchus, the god of wine and revelry, who was popular in Pompeii because of his association with the region’s thriving vineyards. Bacchus is accompanied by a panther, into whose mouth he pours a stream of wine.