The Classical World

A painting commission for the Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge


Rose was commissioned by the Faculty of Classics at the University of Cambridge to create two new paintings that explored the research and excavations of classical archaeology carried out there. Rose was inspired by the great range of work carried out by staff and students: the study of literature and myth, classical art, archaeological landscapes and finds, and ancient languages. As an alumni of the Faculty, she also drew on Roman excavations she worked on in Italy.

She worked in oil on canvas, enjoying the way that oil can be laid down, its edges blurring like archaeological contexts. ‘Bronze and Stone‘ drew on the rich history of classical art studies in the Faculty, and the way that stories can be abstracted into materials; narratives morphed by perspectives over time. ‘Portus‘ was inspired by Rose’s time working at Portus – the port of Rome. During surveys and excavations of the site, Rose was entranced by the upstanding remains, and the spaces and voids left amid the great architectural constructions. The painting is dedicated to the memory of Simon Keay, director of the Portus Project.

The paintings are on display in the Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge, and can be viewed by appointment. Please contact the Faculty administrator.

‘Portus’ by Rose Ferraby