The exhibition includes over 170 items (besides frescoes there are items made from ceramic, bronze, and stucco reliefs), several of which were comparatively recently found by Italian archeologists.
The main part of the exposition consists of ancient frescoes which adorned Roman seaside villas and buildings in Stabiae, a city located not far from Pompeii. This was a famous resort in ancient times, where the Roman elite constructed buildings of unusual magnificence and taste. For more than 100 years, in the period of the late republic and early empire this was essentially the summer residence for the Roman government until in 79 A.D. Stabiae was buried beneath Vesuvius' lava.
Stabiae was discovered by archeologists in the 17th century, almost simultaneously to the discoveries of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and archaeological excavations started in the mid- 18th century with the villa of San Marco, which today is one of the most studied buildings in Stabiae. However, the planned large scale study of this city only began in the 20th century. In 1974 studies began on one of the most interesting complexes, the villa Casa Salese at the San Antonio Abate. Today Stabiae is accepted as the largest centre of well preserved seaside villas on the Gulf of Naples.
The State Hermitage Museum Web Site
Please click here for Pompei: A l'ombre du Vésuve.