Niobe and Her Children / the Gypsotheque at Villa Medici in Rome

In the gardens of Villa Medici in Rome, Italy stand copies of statues of Niobe and her children.  Niobe, proud of her ten (or fourteen) children, was scornful of Leto who had only two children.  Leto’s children, however, were the twins Apollo and Artemis, conceived during a liaison with Zeus.  At the insistence of their mother, Apollo killed Niobe’s sons and Artemis killed Niobe’s daughters with poisoned arrows.  Niobe herself, weeping inconsolably, was turned to stone, and even then her stone face continued to weep.

Not far from the statues of Niobe and her children stands the Gypsotheque, a former workshop that now houses plaster casts of statues, busts, and reliefs, many of which had languished in the basement of Villa Medici before being moved to their present location.

Among the statues in the Gypsotheque are the Greek poet Anacreon and the Greek statesman and orator Demosthenes.

Niobe and Her Children

Niobe and Her Children

SOURCE:  Niobe and Her Children (Rome, Lazio, Italy); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 11 August 2011.

Entrance to the Gypsotheque

Entrance to the Gypsotheque

SOURCE:  Entrance to the Gypsotheque (Rome, Lazio, Italy); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 11 August 2011.

Anacreon

Anacreon

SOURCE:  Anacreon (Rome, Lazio, Italy); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 11 August 2011.

Demosthenes

Demosthenes

SOURCE:  Demosthenes (Rome, Lazio, Italy); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 11 August 2011.

Copyright © 2011 by Stephen J. Danko

 

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