3.B.c - The House of the Stags in Herculaneum (IV, 21)
Within the broad panorama of Herculaneum’s domestic architecture, the House of the Stags, extending over 1100 square meters, is an excellent example of the luxurious mansion.
Important parts of the marble sculptural decoration were found in 1930 in the vast area laid out as garden, bounded by a cryptoportico. Statues stood in two parallel rows framing the lane that crossed the garden. On the western side was a Satyr carrying a wineskin on his back and a Stag attacked by four hounds; on the opposite side, a Drunken Hercules and another Stag. Statuettes portraying Hercules or satyrs were widely used as garden ornaments or fountain elements. The two groups with stags allude to hunting, expressing the patron’s desire to evoke within his home the atmosphere of a forest setting.