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Endymion Asleep

Roman decorative mural in relief.

In the Hadrianic period (117-138 CE) there was a fashion for carved relief panels like this, usually in the houses of the wealthy, and the style also suggests a date no later than the early second century. Such decorations resemble wall paintings and were originally coloured; although earlier in date, wall paintings at Pompeii depict Endymion at least seventeen times.

The myth is that to avoid growing old Endymion slept forever in a cave, either at his own wish or on the order of his wife, the moon goddess Selene.

After it was found this relief was re-used in the Palazzo Spada, the house of a wealthy Roman cardinal

Carrara marble
Location of Original: 

Rome, Capitoline Museum, Stanza dei Imperatori 92

1.57 x 1.03m

Strong: Art in Ancient Rome II, 101, fig.389
Stuart-Jones: Catalogue of the Capitoline Museum (1912), 219

Early C2 CE

Found on the Aventine hill in Rome in the early eighteenth century. Later in the Villa Albani

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