Temple of Divine Vespasian, Cast of patera (libation bowl) with Medusa head from frieze

Cast of patera (libation bowl) with Medusa head from frieze

From: Temple of Divine Vespasian

RA Collection: Art

The cast is of the patera from the frieze on the north side of the Temple of the Divine Vespasian in Rome. Because three of the columns of this Temple have always been standing in the Forum Romanum, the Temple was a much admired ancient ruin, erroneously known as the Temple of Jupiter Tonans (Thundering Jupiter). The Emperor Vespasian died in AD 79 and his younger son, Domitian, completed the Temple for both his father and brother in the 80s.

The frieze showed sacrificial implements. This patera or libation bowl shows a Medusa head in the centre. The rest of the bowl is decorated with acanthus leaves.

The cast was acquired by the Royal Academy from Thomas Lawrence whose collection was sold on 10 May 1830.

Object details

Cast of patera (libation bowl) with Medusa head from frieze
Object type
Plaster cast, late 18th or early 19th century

670 mm x 650 mm x 160 mm, Weight: 53 kg

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Purchased from Sir Thomas Lawrence PRA in 1830
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