the Jovis Convex Mirror

In All, Mirrors by Mark Evans

The Jovis convex mirror is studded with glass cabochons that have been partially gilded in metal.

This mirror is about 9.5 inches in diameter.

It is in my studio until being shipped to one of my showrooms.

Jewelry for walls!

A plausible reconstruction of the Villa Jovis from the architect Carl Weichardt (1846-1906).

Standing on a promontory on the eastern side of the island of Capri, Villa Jovis( Jupiter) was built by Roman emperor Tiberius in AD 27 as his retreat away from Rome; there, he enjoyed a mild climate, sweeping views of the sea and leisure time; Tiberius loved Capri so much he actually built 11 other villas on the island and mainly ruled from there.

Villa Jovis was Tiberius’ main residence, and the most magnificent. It can be considered the first Roman imperial palace and an important testament to 1st-century Roman architecture. It extends over an area of 7,000 square meters, and the view from the top of the promontory, called Monte Tiberio, is breathtaking: to the north, the blue of the Gulf of Naples and the island of Ischia until Punta Campanella; to the south, the center of Capri.

At the center of the palace were the water tanks used to collect rainwater. At the time, Capri wasn’t the exclusive and sought-after destination it is today; the comforts one could find in a big city like Rome here weren’t available. Capri didn’t have any natural water spring, and the collected water was used both as drinking water and as storage water for the thermal baths – an extremely important pastime for the Romans.

The villa featured a number of rooms, halls and terraces, all covered with marble, surrounded by woods and gardens. There was even a lighthouse, which served not just for sighting and communication with the mainland, but also for astronomical observations; it seems that Tiberius had a special interest in the stars.

Near the entrance of the villa is the so-called ‘Tiberius’ jump’, a 297-meter-high cliff, which, according to legend, was where Tiberius had his enemies thrown down below.

Henryk Siemiradzki, Orgy in the Times of Tiberius on Capri, 1881

Tiberius was considered to be very naughty at the Villa Jovis:

“On retiring to Capreae he made himself a private sporting-house, where sexual extravagances were practiced for his secret pleasure. Bevies of girls and young men, whom he had collected from all over the Empire as adepts in unnatural practices, and known as spintriae, would copulate before him in groups of three, to excite his waning passions. A number of small rooms were furnished with the most indecent pictures and statuary obtainable, also certain erotic manuals from Elephantis in Egypt; the inmates of the establishment would know from these exactly what was expected of them. He furthermore devised little nooks of lechery in the woods and glades of the island, and had boys and girls dressed up as Pans and nymphs prostituting themselves in from of caverns or grottoes; so that the island was now openly and generally called ‘Caprineum.’

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The ruins of Villa Jovis on Capri.