Posted 5 months ago
Who is Fundilia?
With two full size marble portraits carved with great artistry and found in the central chamber of The Goddess Diana’s temple she must have been an important woman.
The healing sanctuary on the north shore of lake Nemi was of great importance to ancient Romans, a site of veneration frequented by the Roman Emperor himself.
However women’s status in public life was limited and life size sculpture’s depicting the likeness of a Roman woman are very rare. Even more compelling is the fact that one of the sculptures was commissioned in dedication to her by a freed slave who became a celebrated Roman actor. This veneration by a slave to his past master is not uncommon, what is unusual is for a woman to have owned a slave in the first place.
The mysteries of Fundilia are even carved into the very stone of her sculptures. Her unusual style of hair and garment, the patches of pigment on the marble, unwashed for two thousand years; is it mud or were the sculptures painted to appear realistic? Is she a priestess or a wealthy benefactor? Were the sculptures carved during her lifetime or after her death?
It is this mystery of flesh and stone; the mist between the real and mythological woman, that offers artistic inspiration. see Rock Face
What is the difference between Fundilia and Diana?
We only know about them from what has been carved/written/painted, survived the test of time and then made available to our eyes and ears so that we may try to understand what was and imagine what may have been.