Life and death #1

Some sketches of famous finds from Pompeii, recently on show at the British Museum in London. The exhibition contrasted Roman art that celebrated life, with plaster casts that documented agonising deaths. The death-casts are very emotive objects, both expressionist and realistic at the same time, provoking visitor reactions ranging from pity to disgust via fascination. (Pencil was ideal for these loose drawings, feeling out the key lines  and shapes within the objects.)


Lots of figures were found in this ‘boxer pose‘, caused by muscles and tendons contracting in the appalling heat.

pompei_0002Hercules ‘relieving himself’ after a heavy night of drinking. One of many ‘bawdy/obscene’ works at the exhibition, including flying phallus wind-chimes and Pan having an intimate encounter with a goat. Parents were having fun explaining these works and the death-casts to their young children…

pompei_0002_2This death-cast was made out of clear resin, so you could see jewellery and a skeleton within the figure.

Pencil, with dilute Lexington grey ink for ‘the muleteer’s’ shadow, A5

About Ed Mostly

Enthusiastic daily sketcher based in Bath Uk
This entry was posted in body, collections, death, exhibitions, from life, Lexington grey, monochrome, museum, pencil and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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