The scholars, the more scholars will écharpaient recently on the exact dating of the eruption of mount Vesuvius. One thing is for sure, they will agree on the beauty of the last discovery made in the ruins of Pompeii. Archaeologists have unearthed a small mural depicting the myth of Leda mating with Jupiter metamorphosed into a swan. A new gem discovered in the ancient city disappeared in 79 ad during the eruption of mount Vesuvius.
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The discovery is “unique and exceptional thanks to this singular iconography, if explicit and sensual”, is excited about Massimo Osanna, the director of the archaeological park, to the press agency ANSA. The colors and the strokes are as beautiful as they are well preserved. We see Leda, sitting, languishing, let it come up to it the god-bird, leaving a place in lifting the sheet.
In the same remains had been found, a representation of Priape in full erection, as is often represented the god of strength and fertility. Located so that the visitor is forced to look at Priape before going into the small bedroom is decorated with the fresco of Leda.
The treasure has been discovered in a campaign of renovation of the house, situated on one of the main arteries of the city, the via del Vesuvio. For the time being, the archaeologists continue their work of cleaning to remove all the traces of lava flows.
Jupiter, god fickle
Massimo Osanna ose a hypothesis. The owner of the opulent house might be “a rich merchant, perhaps even a former libertine, became anxious to elevate their social status by surrounding yourself with representations of the most legendary stories of the mythology”.
Jupiter, the king of the gods who had seen Leda, the wife of the king of Sparta, bathing in a river conceived a passion for its beauty. And turned himself into a swan to be harmless. Leda took her between his arms the poor little animal. The god took the opportunity to join it. It is one of the themes of the mythology of the most immortalized in a painting by Veronese, Salvador Dali, via michelangelo, Rubens and Cezanne.
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The mural will probably be moved to be properly protected. After two millennia away from the eyes of men, the lascivious young woman will be exposed to the eyes of the public.