Other Related Sculpture

Plaster Casts of Marble Reliefs at Villa Medici, Rome

The marble originals from which these casts were made were published as reliefs from the Ara Pacis Augustae in 1902 by Eugen Petersen, the first major authority on the monument. After excavations the next year, it became clear that they do not come from the Ara Pacis. Some have thought that they come from a monument known as the Ara Pietatis Augustae, but scholars have not been able to identify the monument with confidence. There is nevertheless agreement that they come from a high quality Julio-Claudian monument similar to the Ara Pacis.

The 4 major reliefs fit together as 2 pairs, each representing a sacrifice of a bull joined to a facade of a temple with columns and pedimental sculpture. They are frequently referred to as the "Della Valle-Medici slabs" because, in the 16th century, they were discovered on Della Valle family property. After being given to the Medici family in 1584, they were walled into the garden facade of the Villa Medici in Rome. There, however, the 4 reliefs are widely separated and each of the original marbles is embedded in a larger rectangle with additional figures added in stucco and marble powder.

These casts were photographed on display in the lower level of the Museo dell'Ara Pacis.