About: Mantha Zarmakoupi

I’m a senior fellow at the Getty Research Institute working on a book project on the idea of landscape in Roman luxury villas. I’m also an associate of the École française d’Athènes, participating in a research team that examines the storage spaces in the late Hellenistic city of Delos. I earned my PhD from Oxford and have held research fellowships at the Freie Universität in Berlin, New York University, and the University of Cologne, and have taught at Bard College in Berlin and University College London. In 2010 I edited a volume on the Villa of the Papyri; my first monograph examined the architecture of Roman luxury villas around the Bay of Naples.

Posts by Mantha

Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Villa

A Virtual Model of the Villa dei Papiri

Side view of the virtual-reality model of the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum

The exhibition Inside Out: Pompeian Interiors Exposed at the Italian Cultural Institute includes a virtual-reality model of the Villa dei Papiri (Villa of the Papyri) in Herculaneum that I recently developed at UCLA’s Experiential Technologies Center with support from the Friends… More»

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      #ThyCaptionBe: Don’t Be So Crabby

      You captioned this detail. And we’re revealing the full story now.

      Jaws reference or some rather nasty surf and turf? It’s actually a depiction of the astrological symbol for Cancer.

      Here’s the full story:

      This peasant might be tired from working in the hot sun, but this is no time to go for a swim to cool off! 

      We all know there’s a risk of encountering creepy crawlers when out gardening, but that giant sinister lobster lurking in the water is actually a crab – the astrological symbol for Cancer. 

      Medieval prayer books often include a yearly calendar at the beginning of the text listing important feast days. Each month is usually accompanied by illuminations of seasonal activities and zodiacal signs, such as this one for the month of June.

      #ThyCaptionBe is a celebration of modern interpretations of medieval aesthetics. You guess what the heck is going on, then we myth-bust.


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