3.5.08

Pompeii and Herculaneum Frescoes

Excerpt from Pompeii Awakened
b
y Judith Harris

"From the earliest findings at Herculaneum, the first Vesuvian site to be rediscovered, and subsequently at Pompeii, the sexual representations, from grave marker in the shape of a phallus to vulgar graffiti and elegant marble carving, were inescapable. The finding of a brothel furthered the dead cities’ aura of dissolution, and, while this intrigued many observers in the libertine 18th century, it outraged many more in the more prudish 19th century. The popular Victorian English clergyman Charles Sturgeon, for one, preached that the cause of the volcano’s wrath was the notorious behavior of the ancient Pompeians, a moral cause-and-effect theme revived in the aftermath of the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York. During the late Victorian period this reputation for dissolution discouraged American collectors from acquiring Pompeiian artifacts. The shock waves began at the beginning........ ."

Pompeii fresco, 1st century CE (Photo by Mary Harrsch)

3 comments:

weareallhypocrites said...

One of the things I love about ancient erotic art is the confirmation that people have always been....human. Desire and expression of such is natural and often beautiful. It is the unnatural suppression of such things that lead to the bizarre manifestations that have been too common in history. The flip side is art also shows that we have always had serious deviancy.

The Dark Lady said...

WeAr! so happy to have you on board! the Sonneteer and Pam are around too, so you have joined too? Will visit your page right away...Lots of interesting blogs here, but I was missing my friends too.

Percy said...

speaking of politics... see what the pastor who is supporting McCain has said?

Sex is better than all of this hand wringing over a few orgasms..

anyway nice historical post..