Gods, Myths, Man
27.9.2014 — 11.1.2015

Hochzeit von Zephyros und Chloris, Wandfresko (Detail), Vierter Stil, um 50–79 n. Chr., Archäologisches Nationalmuseum Neapel

Gods, Myths, Man

27.9.2014 — 11.1.2015

Citizens of ancient Pompeii decorated their living quarters with scenes of mythic lovers, floating gods and goddesses and gardens. These murals are among the best preserved examples of Roman painting. The exhibition reveals the development of this imagery from its beginnings to the dramatic destruction of the city in the wake of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. The oldest frescoes imitate colored marble; sacred sites, landscapes with villas, still-lifes and scenes from mythology later became popular.

The show will focus on the House of the Lyre-Player, presenting its large paintings and magnificent furnishings for the first time together in an exhibition. Bronze figures, reliefs, portraits and murals demonstrate the luxury and appreciation of art found in the ancient world. The life-sized statue of Apollo with a Lyre, which gave the complex its name, will also be shown. The presentation builds upon the architecture of the original rooms and demonstrates how people in the Roman world lived with their paintings. Once again, visitors can experience this building, which was one of the largest in Pompeii, first hand.

The exhibition is supplemented by a digital reconstruction of this almost 3000 square meter urban villa.

Several of the unusually large frescoes were restored with the support of the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius especially for this exhibition. With it, the Bucerius Kunst Forum continues its series on ancient mural painting which began with The Etruscans. Paintings of Life on Earth – Paintings of Death (2004) and continued in Paintings for Eternity. The Tombs of Paestum (2007).

The exhibition is being organized in cooperation with the Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo and the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli.

The exhibition is sponsored by Bucerius Kunst Club.


daily 11:00 am — 7:00 pm
thursday 11:00 am — 9:00 pm

Ticket info 
Adults: 12 Euro
Reduced: 6 Euro
Tuesdays (except holidays): 6 Euro


More information

More about the exhibition

Gods, Myths, Man

Exhibition Catalog

Editors Ortrud Westheider,
Andreas Hoffmann and Michael Philipp
Articles by Bettina Bergmann, Stefano De Caro, Andreas Hoffmann, Carol C. Mattusch, Henrik Mouritsen, Valeria Sampaolo and Andrew Wallace-Hadrill
Publishing House Hirmer Verlag,

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