Ancient Art
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery

Mosaic Fragment with a Bust of Erato

late 2nd–early 3rd century A.D.

Mosaic: limestone and glass tesserae

69.9 x 88.9 cm (27 1/2 x 35 in.)
Ruth Elizabeth White Fund
2004.2.4
This fragment (as well as 2004.2.1–.3 and 2004.2.5) was once part of a much larger mosaic on the floor of a triclinium (dining room) of a Roman house in Gerasa. In the procession, revelers accompany centaurs drawing Dionysos and his consort Ariadne on a cart. Below, Erato, muse of erotic poetry and mime, plays a lyre, while Euterpe, muse of lyric poetry, holds two auloi (reed instruments much like oboes). More than twenty other fragments of this floor exist today, the majority of which are in Berlin. The Yale University Art Gallery’s fragments were discovered in 1927, following earlier excavations in 1907.
Culture: 
Gerasa (Jordan)
Period: 
Roman
Classification: 
Mosaic
Status: 
On view
Provenance: 

Discovered and excavated at Gerasa before 1927, when purchased (as a group of 10 fragments) from a dealer in Damascus, by Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark; collection of the Stark Museum of Art in Orange, Texas; collection of a New York Corporation; Sotheby's NY 12/9/2003 lot #74.

Bibliography: 

Hetty Joyce, “Dionysiac Artists and Cult Practices in a Mosaic from Gerasa,” American Journal of Archaeology 84, no. 2 (1980): 215–16.

Michele Piccirillo, I mosaici di Giordania (Rome: Quasar, 1986), 107.

Michele Piccirillo, The Mosaics of Jordan (Amman, Jordan: American Center of Oriental Research, 1993), 282–83.

Christine Kondoleon, Domestic and Divine: Roman Mosaics in the House of Dionysos (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1995), 215–17.

Dela von Boeselager, “Zum Mosaik aus Gerasa: Fifth International Colloqium on Ancient Mosaics,” Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series 9 (1995): 57–63.

Rina Talgam and Ze’ev Weiss, “The Mosaics in the House of Dionysos at Sepphoris,” Qedem 44 (2003): 5–7.

“Acquisitions 2004,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2005): 152–53, ill.

Richard A. Grossmann, “A New Reconstruction of a Mosaic from Gerasa,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2006): 149–53, fig. 1.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.