House of the Ephebe

Unearthed between 1912 and 1927, the House of the Ephebe is the home of a rich merchant who made his fortune in the last years of the city's existence, proof of which is the marvelous floor and wall decorations. The part of the house where guests would be welcomed offers a decorative repertory brimming over with emotions: the scenes reproduced on the walls represent the mythological episodes of Venus, Mars, Hylos, the Nymphs, Narcissus, while the ones on the floors are characterized by marine and floral scenes, with refined designs in colored marble and glasswork.

The summer triclinium overlooking the outdoor garden, below a pergola supported by four columns with a stucco finishing, still surprisingly preserves the frescoes along the internal walls of the triclinar bed: portrayed here are paintings with Nilotic landscapes and decorative elements alluding to the Egyptian world. The main subjects include a statue of the deity Isis-Fortuna in an aedicula, with the faithful either standing in her presence or walking close to a small obelisk; the flooding of the Nile, with pieces of land emerging from the water, figures of pygmies going about their work, and accessory elements, such as animals and plants; other figures can be seen celebrating or making offerings in sacred structures, between two of which is the statue of the bull deity Apis on a base; an erotic scene of a symplegma (embrace) between two naked lovers before a man and two women who are watching; one of them is playing a double reed.
This domus is also filled with art in the style of that period, including themes and subjects taken directly from the iconographic repertory of the Egyptian world that, especially after the Roman conquest in 30 BC, could transmit its refined art.