The Gosford Wellhead: An Ancient Roman Masterpiece

An ancient Roman marble wellhead (puteal) of the second century A.D. is the focus of an exhibition—along with some two dozen works, primarily from The Met collection—that will explore a wide range of topics, including virtuoso Roman sculpture; the Roman adaptation of Greek art and mythology; Greek and Latin literature; early excavations of Rome and its port; the restoration of antiquities in the late eighteenth century; the Grand Tour and the British collecting of antiquities in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; and the rediscovery of a masterpiece that was lost to scholars for centuries. Excavated in the Roman port of Ostia in 1797, the wellhead entered a private collection in the nineteenth century and was recently acquired by The Met. The acquisition is part of The Met's 2020 Collections Initiative in celebration of the Museum's 150th anniversary.