Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Day in Pompeii

I had the great pleasure of visiting the A Day in Pompeii exhibit currently being shown at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. I had been looking forward to seeing this exhibit since it opened and I was not disappointed.

The first half of this beautiful exhibit focuses on the everyday life of Romans living in Pompeii at the time of the eruption of Vesuvius (AD 79). Furniture, cooking, commerce, clothing, luxuries, fishing and family life were all examined and in some detail. I already have a very healthy respect for the Romans and what they accomplished, and this exhibit only reinforced that and displayed some items (like portable barbecues for example) that reminded me that they were not all that different from us today.

The second half of the exhibit focused on the catastrophic eruption of the volcano Vesuvius and what that must have been like for the inhabitants of the city. A very well done video reproduction showed the events as they may have transpired during that fateful day that began with a beautiful sunrise but ended with the city demolished and buried in ash. A very emotional display of body casts of some of the victims were on display that captured their last moments: husbands holding wives, young girls clinging to one another, men covering their mouths to avoid suffocation. I took photos of many artifacts in the exhibit, but I could not, out of respect, take photos of these casts although many people were doing so.

I was really captivated by the design motifs and colors used in Roman decoration.

A outdoor garden fresco.

The decoration on a table.

a garden fresco.

Roman dice. The set on the right are loaded.

Galdiator helm.

Gladiator greaves.


  1. I saw this in Minneapolis a few years back and it was excellent. The last room was very moving, with all the casts and even a poor dog curled up in a ball. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I went to Pompeii a few years ago, its fantastic, my mrs couldn't understand why I kept touching everything, she just doesn't understand!!

  3. My wife and I just saw it on Thanksgiving day. We enjoyed the exhibit. If only Pompeii was a Roman fort.

  4. Cool. I wonder if it will end up out our way?

    1. I hope you get a chance to see it. It really is worth it.

  5. It's staggering really, how much they were able to excavate from the site. Inspiring to those of us who paint as well.

    I went through some of your previous posts and must say I really like that African Elephant you painted up.

    1. Thanks Anne, I appreciate the comment and your stopping by. Welcome to the site!