Roman Treasure of Berthouville makes its debut after meticulous conservation efforts.
© Wikimedia Commons
Cup with centaurs, detail. Italy, middle of the 1st century CE. From the Treasure of Berthouville, 1830.
Accidentally discovered by a French farmer plowing his field near the village of Berthouville in rural Normandy in 1830, the spectacular hoard of gilt-silver statuettes and vessels known as the Berthouville Treasure was an ancient offering to the Gallo-Roman god Mercury.
Following four years of meticulous conservation and research in the J. Paul Getty Museum's Antiquities Conservation Department, the exhibition Ancient Luxury and the Roman Silver Treasure from Berthouville, on view at the Getty Villa November 19, 2014, to August 17, 2015, will present this unique collection of ancient silver in its full splendor and offer new insights about ancient art, technology, religion, and cultural interaction. The opulent cache - in the collection of the Cabinet des médailles (now the Department of Coins, Medals and Antiques) at the Bibliothèque nationale de France - is displayed in its entirety for the first time outside of Paris, together with precious gems, jewelry, and other Roman luxury objects from the Cabinet's royal collections.
"Since 2010, this magnificent collection of silver objects has been undergoing extensive conservation and study at the Getty Villa, providing us a unique opportunity to examine the production of Roman luxury materials and seeing what this has to teach us about the art, culture and religion of Roman Gaul," says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. "Being able to display this dazzling hoard at the Getty Villa is a great privilege for us and our visitors, and we have the added satisfaction of knowing that they will return to France much better understood and looking spectacularly better than before."