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Home > Route through the rooms > Section of Caesar's Forum > Interior Decoration of the Temple of Venus Genetrix
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Section of Caesar's Forum

Section of Caesar's Forum

Caesar's Forum was a rectangle paved in travertine slabs, flanked by porticoes with two naves. The western portico, overlooking the Capitol, was home to two long, narrow “tabernae” (shops) 
The magnificent Temple of Venus Genetrix was built in Corinthian style at the bottom end of the Forum, on top of a raised podium that unusually, was accessed by stairs built at the sides rather than to the front. 
Very little remains of the original forum complex built in Caesar's time, but a few pieces from the orders along the portico and the pilasters that screened a niche at the head of it, are displayed inside the museum. These pieces represent important and rare evidence of the moment in which the decorative tradition of the Ancient Romans was born, which coincided with the opening of the first Luni (now called Carrara) marble quarry and marble began to replace the old tradition of plastered tufa or travertine. As far as the Trajan period of Caesar's Forum is concerned, the Museum has a few pieces of the decorative elements used for the Temple of Venus Genetrix. The external walls of the cella were embellished with sculpted panels that portrayed cherub-like figures called “eroti” in scenes that were both decorative and symbolic. Five key images have been re-constructed from the many pieces found. These must have been created as variations of the scene, and in some cases, their size was slightly altered in order to better suit their location. Some of the slabs and some sections of the wall facings were engraved in such a way that they created a typical brickwork pattern.

Caesar's Forum - Reliefs with cupids

Interior Decoration of the Temple of Venus Genetrix

Interior Decoration of the Temple of Venus Genetrix

The interior of the Temple of Venus Genetrix was also richly embellished and pieces of other panels with cherub-like figures are displayed. In one, they can be seen amidst upside-down Acanthus bushes getting ready for dinner, busy decorating candelabra, whilst other, somewhat smaller panels show single figures in different poses. Another panel in relief features a large bowl positioned above a theatrical mask and a panther with dappled fur – a clear reference to Dionysus. There is also an exquisitely decorated base block in this room, complete with a section from the base of the column it supported, sporting a crown made of Acanthus leaves. Other column base slabs identical to this were historically “recycled”, together with their capitals, finding a new home in the portico at the entrance to the Baptistery at St. John Lateran.

Sculpture
From the Trajan Era: 113 AD
FC 1330
Sculpture
From the Trajan Era: 113 AD.
FC 1006
Sculpture
From the Trajan Era: 113 AD
FC 348
Sculpture
From the Trajan Era: 113 AD
cfr. singoli frammenti originali
Sculpture
From the Trajan Era: 113 AD
FC 125

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