Roman Erotic Art
Ancient Pompeii would have been an erotic art enthusiast's dream come true! An entire city COVERED from head to toe in erotic art!
Pompeii is a ruined city in the south of Italy which is most famous for being buried over night by the unexpected eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD. Relatively little damage was done to the city though nearly every resident was killed by the hot ash and poisonous fumes coming from Vesuvius. The entire city was buried under a thick layer of ash and was lost for over 1,700 years.
In 1738, the nearby town of Herculaneum was discovered accidentally by a team led by the Spanish army captain Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre while excavation work was being done for a new palace for Charles of Bourbon, the king of Naples. Upon finding many ancient roman artifacts on the site, the group then began excavation on a site nearby they believed to be the location of another town called Stabiea due to artifacts discovered in 1599 while a new course was being dug for the river Sarno. This site was later identified as being Pompeii.
As the excavation work continued, they found many roman artifacts from buildings to pottery. Though many of these artifacts they found to be disturbing. Across many of the walls of the city were frescoes and mosaics of extremely erotic scenes from couples in intercourse to Gods with enormous genitalia. Even many of the everyday house hold objects had erotic themes. During the early days of the excavation, many of the images were reburied to keep them hidden, and many were destroyed or plastered over. As work continued, they would have realized they would have to destroy the entire city to hide its eroticism.
As the project continued, many artifacts were taken back to Naples to be displayed at the National Archaeological Museum. By 1819, the collection was considered too obscene to be viewed by any other than those of the highest morals and maturity so it was locked away in what is know as "The Secret Chamber." The exhibit has periodically reopened over the centuries, though for the most part it has been locked away from public view.
It wasn't until the year 2000 when the Naples National Archaeological Museum finally reopened the exhibit to the public.
The site of Pompeii is also open to the public, and though many of the more precious pieces of erotic art have been removed, there are still hints across the city of its sexual past.