Piece of a relief featuring cherub-like figures emerging from an upside-down acanthus bush

FC 1022
From the Trajan Era: 113 AD
Material and technique: 
Luna marble
Foro di Cesare
FC 1022

Piece of a relief bearing a solitary cherub-like figure. A decorative element from inside the Temple of Venus Genetrix in Caesar's Forum.

Various pieces bearing the iconographic motif of cherub-like figures emerging from upside-down Acanthus bushes busy decorating candelabra have been found in Caesar's Forum. These decorative reliefs from the Temple of Venus Genetrix however, appear on panels that vary slightly in size and the task of piecing them together is still underway. The piece on display here, is in fact from one of the smaller panels, another of which has been fully restored with any missing pieces made good, and is currently part of the Torlonia collection at Villa Albani.

The hall

Decorazione interna del Tempio di Venere Genitrice

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.