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.