An Afternoon at the Grotto of Tiberius in Sperlonga

Sperlonga is just a 2 hour drive south of Rome and has a surprisingly beautiful archeological museum.



The Grotta di Tiberio is one of Italy's wonders and is part of the Museo Archeologico in Sperlonga which has just a few fragments of the monumental groups of sculptures found in the grotta dedicated to mythology: rape of ganimede, assault of Scylla to Odysseus, the blinding of Polyphemus, the theft of Palladium and Odysseus lifting Achilles corps.

The sculptures here are thought to be attributed to the same artists who created Laocoön and his sons in the Vatican museum.




According to contemporary reconstruction, these ensembles of sculptures were fit organically into the grotta. A place for sitting and eating was carved into the rock and the grotto was embellished by Tiberius into a magnificent triclinium.



If we use our imagination to reconstruct these groups of sculptures and place them in the grotta, we can see that this is truly one of the splendours of the world.



These groups of sculptures which reflected beautifully into the moving water were most likely painted and gave a three dimensional impression and a timeless feeling to the viewer. The myth would come alive and transport the viewer into a mythological reality.



I have a feeling that this group of sculptures have an inner implication with each other. It is not not certain "how", but something is there and is worth investigating.


If you have any insight, please leave a comment and share.

Thank you


Here is the museum information for your next visit:

Museo Archeologico Nazionale e Villa di Tiberio

Via Flacca, km 16.300

04029 Sperlonga (Lt)

tel. +39 0771 548028

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©GENYA GRITCHIN  is an academic painter and draftsman specialised in child portraits, wall mural paintings and book  illustrations.   info@genyagritchin.com    |    Italy 

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