A carved marble doorway decorated with a wreath of oak leaves overlaid with acorns and tied with a ribbon-- it is richly ornamented in the Flavian Revival style. The size of this door precludes an association with a house or even a family shrine in the garden of a wealthy Roman's villa. It...
A carved marble doorway decorated with a wreath of oak leaves overlaid with acorns and tied with a ribbon-- it is richly ornamented in the Flavian Revival style. The size of this door precludes an association with a house or even a family shrine in the garden of a wealthy Roman's villa. It must have been used in a public building, and the use of the crown with oak leaves, the Roman imperial corona civica motif, suggests that this door frame came from a temple dedicated to the cult of the imperial family. Such edifices were to be found in nearly every city and major town of the Roman Empire. The frame of this doorway has three flat, precisely defined fasciae. The jambs are made separately from the lintel. The frieze takes the peculiar shape of a 2/3 of the decorated soffit (underside) of an architrave. On the ends, semicircular projections into the central field reflect the abacus ornaments of capitals that carry an architrave. Since these projections have no structural sense here, they have been ornamented with peony-like flowers. Surrounding three sides of the field is a moulding embellished with an undulating acanthus band with alternating palmettes and shaggy lotus blossoms. The damage is minimal, and the modern clamps which join the sections have been inserted around the ancient lead and with more lead added in the ancient grooves.
By 1933: with Brummer Gallery, Inc., 55 East 57th Street, New York (letters from Joseph Brummer say variously that it was found near Naples or excavated near Pompeii); purchased by MFA from Brummer Gallery, Inc., April 14, 1938, for $ 3,750.00 (the total price for MFA 38.733 and 38.734)
Otis Norcross Fund
Roman, Imperial Period, about A.D. 200–280
Place of Manufacture
Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 304.
Height x width: 366 x 275 cm (144 1/8 x 108 1/4 in.)
Medium or Technique
Marble, from the island of Proconnesus in the Sea of Marmara near Istanbul