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Mirror

A work made of reflective disk: bronze; repoussé disk: brass.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of reflective disk: bronze; repoussé disk: brass.

Date:

2nd century AD

Artist:

Roman

About this artwork

Artemis (the Roman Diana), or a Roman lady with divine fantasies, after her bath in a rustic, woodland setting, is the subject of the tondo in relief on the back of this Roman hand mirror. Her cloak is draped over the rocks on which she sits, and she holds the end wrapped around a small hand mirror in her raised left hand, a divine celebration of the uses of the mirror in a Roman household. The landscape in front of her, to the right, recalls the paintings and reliefs from houses around the Bay of Naples before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. The quiver of the goddess leans against the base of a garlanded altar with a small herm on top. A second terminal figure, Priapis, the god of gardens and fertility, tilts back while facing to the right on the ledge at the right. The bovine skull in the right foreground suggests the sacrifice after a successful hunt.

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Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium

Culture

Ancient Roman

Title

Mirror

Origin

Roman Empire

Date

101 CE–200 CE

Medium

Reflective disk: bronze; repoussé disk: brass

Dimensions

Diameter: 11.8 cm (4 11/16 in.); Depth: 0.86 cm (3/8 in.)

Credit Line

James W. and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection

Reference Number

1985.1042a-b

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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