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Hoard from Witów

A treasure of four gold Roman coins from the 5th century AD was found in Witów. It contains three solidi of Emperor Theodosius II (402–450) and one solidus of Emperor Valentinian II (424–455). The first group of coins presents a bust in an armour on the obverse. The name of the emperor is inscribed on the rim — DN THEODOSI-VS P.F. AVG.

Sculpture “Young Centaur (Smiling Centaur)”

The Centaur sculpture is a copy of one of two marble sculptures found in Rome in 1736, during excavation works in Hadrian's Villa, but substantially reduced in size. At present, the Furietti Centaurs, named after their discoverer, Giuseppe Alessandro Furietti, can be found in the Capitoline Museums in Rome.

Sculpture “Old Centaur”

The Centaur sculpture is a copy of one of two marble sculptures found in Rome in 1736, during excavation works in Hadrian's Villa, but substantially reduced in size. At present, the Furietti Centaurs, named after their discoverer, Giuseppe Alessandro Furietti, can be found in the Capitoline Museums in Rome.

Sculpture “Gladiator” by Pius Weloński

This artistic, whole-body sculpture depicts a Roman gladiator with an upraised arm. A sign is inscribed on the pedestal: Ave Caesar! Morituri, salutant [Long live Caesar! Those who are going to die greet you]. The gladiator is — judging by his props — most likely a retiarius [net-fighter]. He fought with a trident or harpoon made of tuna bones, a dagger, and a net that he threw at his opponent's head. The Polish audience paid particular attention to the Slavic physiognomy of the warrior, seeing a hidden national message in the work of Welonski. Our national consciousness enabled us to see an allegory of the situation of Poles under partition in this classical, thoroughly academic, work. This allegory was found in the fate of a Roman gladiator, whose life depended on his owner.

Painting “Nero’s Torches” by Henryk Siemiradzki

Nero’s Torches by Henryk Siemiradzki, also called Candlesticks of Christianity, initiated the collection of the National Museum in Kraków. On the painting, the artist immortalised one of the most tragic moments in the history of Christianity, which was the burning of alleged perpetrators of the fire which broke out in Rome during the reign of Nero in 64 AD, described by Suetonius and Tacitus.

Sculpture “Portrait of a Roman woman”

The portrait of a head comes from a bust of a Roman woman who lived in the mid–3rd century. With a realistic expression of facial features, it depicts a middle-aged woman. The big eyes looking straight and thin, slightly tight lips suggest a firm character. The cheeks are fleshy but with visible zygomatic bones; the jaw is massive, with a clearly marked full chin. The hairdo expresses the fashion at the time, referring to a hairstyle introduced by Julia Domna, the wife of Emperor Septimius Severus.