The Museo Campano is at the end of Via Duomo. The museum houses works
dating from the Hellenistic to the medieval period. The monumental
busts in the first room to the left are strong, severely simple pieces
done in the 13th century.(Pichey, 76)
They once adorned a triumphal arch in Capua, now destroyed, which was built
by Frederick II in about 1230.(Pichey, 76)
Room No. 28 has a small collection of pictures from the 15th, 16th and
The museum's most important works are the strange and solid tufa sculptures
on the ground floor. This collection of over one hundred ancient
fertility figures, called Madri (Mothers), represents a rich chapter in
Campanian popular art (above). The statues were uncovered in 1845
near Santa Maria Capua Vettere and span the 6th - 1st centuries BC.
They are ex voto, or votive, offerings to a divinity called Mater
Matuta who represented both dawn and birth. When someone offered
one of these statues to the divinity, it was in the hope of becoming pregnant,
of giving birth to a healthy baby, of offering thanks for the safe birth
of a sound child. these somber women are seated with bundled infants
- sometimes as many as five or six - nestled on each arm. (Pichey,
Another form of votive offering can be seen at the left. These terra-cotta
statuettes were created by the sick or injured. The inflicted part
of the body was recreated. For example if your arm was broken you
would make a sculpture of an arm to offer. The poor fellow on the
left must have had a something seriously wrong with his head!
In the lower left is a small bronze piece from the Egyptian collection.
Below is an early Roman vase.
If you visit the Museo Campano you will need a guide. There is not
much information posted near the exhibits.