Erotic art in Pompeii and Herculaneum was discovered in the ancient cities around the bay of Naples (particularly of Pompeii and Herculaneum) after extensive excavations began in the 18th century. The city was found to be full of erotic art and frescoes, symbols, and inscriptions regarded by its excavators as pornographic. Even many recovered household items had a sexual theme. The ubiquity of such imagery and items indicates that the sexual mores of the ancient Roman culture of the time were much more liberal than most present-day cultures, although much of what might seem to us to be erotic imagery (e.g. oversized phalluses) could arguably be fertility-imagery. This clash of cultures led to an unknown number of discoveries being hidden away again. For example, a wall fresco which depicted Priapus, the ancient god of sex and fertility, with his extremely enlarged penis, was covered with plaster (and, as Schefold explains (p. 134), even the older reproduction below was locked away “out of prudishness” and only opened on request) and only rediscovered in 1998 due to rainfall.[1]

 Sourced Online…

After looking at mosaics it got me thinking of where they originated from. Erotic art has been around for century’s from tiled mosaics on walls to paintings on peoples walls. Mosaics used to be tiled onto walls to lure visitors into certain places, for example old fashioned baths and spas. This image below originates from; Satyr & Nymph, House of the Faun and is a tiled mosaic which was situated on a wall. The detail fascinates me, all the small lines and dots included. Now this tiled mosaic was seen as aesthetically beautiful back when it was on the wall, however is an erotic image. Something that shows sexual nature again being seen as beautiful. If this was hung up now it makes you wonder if it would be seen as art or offend people? I know its not especially explicit like the material I’m using, however could still make people feel uncomfortable looking at it.



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