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The Mosaic and Wallpainting Collection of Aquincum Museum contains interior and exterior ornamental decorations of buildings, discovered in Aquincum.

 

The Mosaic and Wallpainting Collection of Aquincum Museum contains interior and exterior ornamental decorations of buildings, discovered in Aquincum.

This separate collection was established at the beginning of the 1990s and includes floor mosaics, and terrazzo fragments, more than 1600 boxes of wall painting and stucco fragments

as well as both  black and white and  colored stone mosaic floors with geometrical patterns as well as figural scenes dated to the AD 2nd and 3rd centuries. One of the  most important is the colorful mosaic depicting Hercules and Deianeira from  a villa complex in the Military Town. The central piece depicting a mythological scene was made up of 60,000 tiny, one square millimeter mosaic cubes (tessera).

Another interesting mosaic was unearthed in the Civil Town : the very fragmented, mosaic most probably depicts Dirke being tied to the bull, just like the Hellenistic sculpture  of the Farnese bull, exhibited in the Naples National Archaeological Museum. The collection of wall paintings consists of painted wall and ceiling fragments, decorated with stucco and stucco friezes decorated with a variety of plants and stylized hunting scenes (fleeing animals),    dated to some time between the AD2nd-4th centuries.

Apart from the colorful and detailed wall paintings with mythological scenesrequiring great painting skill, there are also fragments with simpler designs comprising stripes or wide bands and white renderings.

Two, representative ceiling decorations – painted with geometrical patterns from the collection –  are exhibited in the museum. One of them comprises the ceiling from the Governor’s Palace with an octogonal pattern, while the other is a reconstruction of the vaulted ceiling from the villa on Csúcshegy, with  circles and hexagons with curved sides.One of the most important and paintings in the collection  – and one that is also rare – is a Mithras cult image, unearthed in the legionary fortress. It comprises the well-known central scene (Mithras defeats the bull) and is surrounded by the scenes taken from the main stages of Mithras’ life.

Also in the collection are outstanding finds from the richly decorated villa excavated near Búvár and Folyamőr streets. These wall-paintings  consist of painted plinths with depictions of storks and marble imitations. There are also, stucco fragments depicting Dionysos  and even mosaic floors with geometrical and zoomorphic patterns.

Some of the mosaics can be seen on-site (at the Hercules villa, Thermae Maiores, as well as a mosaic depicting wrestlers in the Civil Town). Other mosaics are exhibited at the Aquincum Museum (4 mosaic floors from the Governor’s Palace and one of the mosaics with coffered decoration from the villa lying close to Búvár and Folyamőr Streets). There are still more mosaics lying hidden in the stores of the the museum.

 

The collection curators: Dr. Kirchhof Anita and Varga Nikoletta