GODS, GRAVES AND SCHOLARS
In the year 1738 Maria Amalia Christine, daughter of Augustus III, Elector of Saxony, married Charles of Bourbon, King of the Two Sicilies, and moved to Naples. The lively young Queen, who was of artistic bent, explored the spacious precincts of her palace gardens and discovered there a wealth of statuary and other carved works. Some of these had been found accidentally before the last eruption of Vesuvius, and others were dug up later on the initiative of a certain General d’Elbœuf.
Delighted by the beauty of these antiquities, she begged her royal husband to let her look for new pieces. The King gave in because Vesuvius had been quiet for a year and a half since the great outbreak of May 1737.