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MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Ancient Art

  • Mountain goat

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Mountain goat

    3500–2700 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height x length: 4 x 7 cm (1 9/16 x 2 3/4 in.)

    Medium

    Silver and sheet gold

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    59.14

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Ancient Near East Gallery - 110 More Info

    Description

    Figurine of mountain goat. Face gold-plated and also two attached curls on legs. One curl missing. Head made separate. Incised lines on side of body and leg incised on underside.

    Multimedia

  • Statue of Lady Sennuwy

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Statue of Lady Sennuwy

    1971–1926 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Framed (The object sits on epoxy bed /structural steel pallet tubing): 21.6 x 62.2 x 116.2 cm (8 1/2 x 24 1/2 x 45 3/4 in.) Mount (Steel channel base with cross bracing 3" x 3/16"): 30.5 x 62.2 x 116.2 cm (12 x 24 1/2 x 45 3/4 in.) Overall (steel pallet and object, weighed): 170.2 x 116.2 x 47 cm, 1224.71 kg (67 x 45 3/4 x 18 1/2 in., 2700 lb.) Weight (Object and steel pallet with attaching steel base, estimate): 1319.97 kg (2910 lb.) Weight (Object (calculated by subtracting estimate of pallet weight)): 1079.56 kg (2380 lb.)

    Medium

    Granodiorite

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    14.720

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Egyptian Colossal Gallery (Sculpture) - 209 More Info

    Description

    Egyptian officials of the Middle Kingdom continued the practice of equipping their tombs with statues to house the ka of the tomb owner and to provide a focal point for the offering cult. Highly ranked officials also dedicated statues of themselves at sanctuaries of gods and deified ancestors. Following the experimental and idiosyncratic interlude of the First Intermediate Period, sculptors once again produced large-scale stone statues, returning to the basic forms and poses established in the Old Kingdom. This elegant seated statue of Lady Sennuwy of Asyut is one of the most superbly carved and beautifully proportioned sculptures from the Middle Kingdom. The unknown artist shaped and polished the hard, gray granodiorite with extraordinary skill, suggesting that he was trained in a royal workshop. He has portrayed Sennuwy as a slender, graceful young woman, dressed in the tightly fitting sheath dress that was fashionable at the time. The carefully modeled planes of the face, framed by a long, thick, striated wig, convey a serene confidence and timeless beauty. Such idealized, youthful, and placid images characterize the first half of Dynasty 12 and hark back to the art of the Old Kingdom. Sennuwy sits poised and attentive on a solid, blocklike chair, with her left hand resting flat on her lap and her right hand holding a lotus blossom, a symbol of rebirth. Inscribed on the sides and base of the chair are hieroglyphic texts declaring that she is venerated in the presence of Osiris and other deities associated with the afterlife. Sennuwy was the wife of a powerful provincial governor, Djefaihapi of Asyut, whose rock-cut tomb is the largest nonroyal tomb of the Middle Kingdom. Clearly, the couple had access to the finest artists and materials available. It is likely that this statue, along with a similar sculpture of Djefaihapi, was originally set up in the tomb chapel, although they may also have stood in a sanctuary. Both statues were discovered, however, far to the south at Kerma in Nubia, where they had been buried in the royal tumulus of a Nubian king who lived generations after Sennuwy's death. They must have been removed from their original location and exported to Nubia some three hundred years after they were made. Exactly how, why, and when these pieces of sculpture, along with numerous other Egyptian statues, found their way to Kerma, however, is still unknown.

    Multimedia

  • Head of Parthian dignitary

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Head of Parthian dignitary

    A.D. 100–199

    Dimensions

    Height x width: 24 x 15 cm (9 7/16 x 5 7/8 in.)

    Medium

    Stone

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    1971.345

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Ancient Near East Gallery - 110 More Info

    Description

    Multimedia

  • Brooch in the form of a lion

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Brooch in the form of a lion

    late 8th–early 7th century B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height x width x length: 4 x 3.5 x 8 cm (1 9/16 x 1 3/8 x 3 1/8 in.)

    Medium

    Gold

    Classification

    Jewelry / Adornment, Brooches

    Accession Number

    1974.411

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Ancient Near East Gallery - 110 More Info

    Description

    This gold brooch in the form of a roaring, couchant lion was probably intended to be worn on the shoulder. The form of the brooch parallels East Greek and Lydian brooches, but the angular, stylized head suggests the work of a Phrygian artist. The figure of the lion is set on a "tray" with the pin-fastener on the underside.

    Multimedia

  • Figurine of a goddess

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Figurine of a goddess

    2500–2300 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height: 12.7 cm (5 in.)

    Medium

    Silver and gold

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    1979.782

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Ancient Near East Gallery - 110 More Info

    Description

    Statuette made of cold hammered silver with gold inlays in the eyes, ears and breasts, and gold leaf boots. It represents a female figure standing and holding her breasts, probably the great Anatolian mother goddess.

    Multimedia

  • Bronze helmet

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Helmet

    1st–3rd century

    Dimensions

    Height: 34 cm (13 3/8 in.)

    Medium

    Brass

    Classification

    Warfare, hunting, & fishing, Armor

    Accession Number

    1979.41

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Ancient Near East Gallery - 110 More Info

    Description

    Helmet in the form of a Kedaris (the headdress popular among the nomadic peoples of Anatolia), with elaborately chased patterning imitating the quilted fabric, and rosettes on the sides and peak.

    Multimedia

  • Drinking vessel in the shape of a...

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Drinking vessel in the shape of a fist

    14th century B.C.

    Dimensions

    Width x length: 10 x 15.5 cm (3 15/16 x 6 1/8 in.)

    Medium

    Silver

    Classification

    Vessels

    Accession Number

    2004.2230

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Ancient Near East Gallery - 110 More Info

    Description

    This ceremonial drinking vessel is shaped in the form of a human fist with a procession of musicians in relief along the cuff.

    Multimedia

  • Infant feeding vessel

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Infant feeding vessel

    10th–9th century B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height x width x length: 11 x 5.5 x 7.7 cm (4 5/16 x 2 3/16 x 3 1/16 in.)

    Medium

    Pottery

    Classification

    Vessels

    Accession Number

    1997.225

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Ancient Near East Gallery - 110 More Info

    Description

    Miniature red-ware bird-pot with with female head.

    Multimedia

  • Seated man

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Seated man

    1000–700 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height x width x depth: 49.4 x 23 x 23 cm (19 7/16 x 9 1/16 x 9 1/16 in.)

    Medium

    Andesite (gray basalt)

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    1996.336

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Ancient Near East Gallery - 110 More Info

    Description

    Man seated holding food dish in right hand. In Tell Halaf, in Syria, several statues of this type were found in tomb chapels associated with the burials of high-ranking individuals. Funerary reliefs depicting people seated in the same posture and holding food dishes have also been excavated in Marash in southeastern Turkey.

    Multimedia

  • Bracelet

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Bracelet

    2400–1550 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Length x width: 19 x 4 cm (7 1/2 x 1 9/16 in.)

    Medium

    Faience

    Classification

    Jewelry / Adornment, Bracelets, Armlets

    Accession Number

    13.3972

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    This bracelet is in the form of a network of blue faience ring beads strung in the original manner.

    Multimedia