The Feeder Feed: ancient edition

I am in the Met, having pried myself from typing. Since the feeder webcams are off (the feeders are empty)… here is an artistic little ancient bird which has happily found some berries.

The bird, and the painting around it, is from a bedroom in the villa of Agrippa Postumus, buried by Vesuvius at Boscreale. The rest of the fragments show the spindly designs typical of the era, later imitated by Renaissance painters who found them in the Domus Aurea in Rome…. Grottesque.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Supertradmum says:

    I love birds and think that their morning and evening choruses are like Vigils and Vespers. I really do think they sing to God. Birds represent beauty, simplicity of life, freedom, especially in the air, and transcendence. I like to think that one reason we love them is that they are so vulnerable as well as beautiful.

    I am glad this bird got berries from someone. As you know, however, the Romans, at least, were famous for their bird recipes, so I hope this is a happy rminder of birds, rather than a reminder of meals to come. The fact that the painting is in a bedroom indicates romance and love rather than eating….

  2. Is the owner of the bedroom the same Agrippa Postumus who was the grandson of Augustus and son of Marcus Agrippa, Augustus’ lieutenant, and alleged to have been the best boyhood friend of Claudius in Robert Graves’ I, Claudius (and portrayed in the miniseries by John Castle)?

  3. doanli says:

    Wow— I wonder if it’s still in existence? (Bird lover here too, obviously!)

    My sister heard a bird singing outside her daughter’s window at midnight, the anniversary of our mother’s departure from this world, and we believe it was our mama singing to them. ;) (She loved singing.)

  4. New Sister says:

    Supertradmum – I agree – in 2004 a surgeon friend of mine in IN operated on a woman who had been dead for 45 minutes (blood clots in her lungs). She miraculously awoke from a coma within 48 hours after the surgery, and recounted to him her “life after death” experience – she said she found herself in a garden (lush beyond description) and was met by Our Lord, who walked with her briefly through the garden before sending her back …she said there were countless birds that crescendoed in song as the LORD passed by them. (My friend included all this in his medical report!) I’ll try to find it on line – she came back with no brain damage whatever – just attacks from satan for a while, and a period of sadness adjusting back to the world after having been “up there,” in this garden.

  5. Anita: Yes, that Agrippa Postumus.

    Makes the story concrete, doesn’t it?

  6. wanda says:

    Sweet little bird in the painting. I’m sure the birds will be glad to see you and get their
    feeders filled up again. I think they will be waiting and not wander far. They will probably be there to greet you whilst drumming their little toes.

  7. AnAmericanMother says:

    My goodness, that bird has big feet! (and a big beak too). Wonder what he is – the Romans were very accurate in their portrayals of nature.

  8. irishgirl says:

    Very nice bird painting-to think that it has survived after being buried by Vesuvius!

    Yes, your birds will be flocking to you when you get back home, Father Z…and they’ll be saying, ‘FEED US! FEED US!’ ; )

  9. I am informed that some types of the feed are gone. I will have to make some purchases when I get back.

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