Il ritratto dello Pseudo-Seneca tra scoperta e collezionismo
In: Studi e Ricerche del Parco Archeologico di Pompei: 43, 2020
During the Bourbon excavations in the Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum, the bronze portrait of an illustrious man of antiquity, known as “Seneca” due to a mistaken identification of Fulvius Ursinus in the 16th century, was discovered. Winckelmann was the first to understand that this face did not give back the image of Seneca, but his acute critical reflections did not open a scientific debate among Neapolitan scholars.
In Naples, against the background of a rediscovered taste for antiquity, the famous image of “Seneca” (Pseudo- Seneca) inspired the biscuit production of the Real Fabbrica Ferdinandea of porcelain. Meanwhile, the Bourbons transferred the Farnese collection to Naples, including two replicas of Pseudo-Seneca on which the iconographic fortune of the portrait had been built. Among the Farnese marbles, a third bust of Pseudo-Seneca is also registered by mistake, the portrait had instead belonged to the Museum of a refined collector of 18th century from Campania, Felice Maria Mastrilli.