Not too long ago I got pleasantly lost in the strange ancient city of Pompeii, buried in 79 AD by superheated ash and lava thrown out by an angry Vesuvius. I wandered the streets, and into various villas. I focused on the details of the mysterious frescoes. These images are fleeting dreams—of daily ritual, of love and wars, of the hunt, and of the gods.
This fresco depicting Priapus, god of fertility, is from Pompeii's "House of Vetti," owned by two rich merchants, Sulus Vettius Restitutus and Aulus Vettius Conviva, who spent huge sums of money in paintings and other lavish decorations just to show off their wealth. And sexual interest.