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

Ancient Rome Gallery-2018

  • Herakles

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Herakles

    about 30 B.C.–A.D. 70

    Dimensions

    Height: 101 cm (39 3/4 in.)

    Medium

    Bronze

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    95.76

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Classical Roman Gallery - 213 More Info

    Description

    Herakles wears the skin of the Nemean lion, which he killed as one of his earliest labors. On his head he wears a diadem, an emblem of distinction or of victory. In his left hand, he originally held a club, which had been inserted into a hole formed by his closed fingers and which projected down at an angle. Herakles reaches out his right hand as if to grasp something. The way the arm is extended directly forward is probably a Roman alteration of the Hellenistic design. The significance of Herakles' extended hand is not entirely clear, but he may be reaching for a cup of wine (Herakles is often shown holding a wine cup), although there is no trace of a cup here. He might also be reaching for the golden apples that he took from the garden of the Hesperides. Both the wine and the apples symbolized the end of his trials and his attainment of immortality. Here, however, the gesture may merely signify a genial welcome. The statue has been put together from fragments. The mane and the head of the lion-skin have been restored; also a piece in the upper part of the right thigh, and a small piece in the middle of the back are restoration. The piece has a dark patina with green encrustation.

    Multimedia

  • Fountain Basin w/Reclining River...

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Fountain basin with a reclining river god

    A.D. 98–138

    Dimensions

    Overall: 66 x 88 x 74 cm, 408.2 kg (26 x 34 5/8 x 29 1/8 in., 900 lb.) Framed (Steel tube palette /four gusset angles for lifting): 7.8 x 90.5 x 74.3 cm (3 1/16 x 35 5/8 x 29 1/4 in.) Block (Rolling wooden pedestal includes steel palette): 91.4 x 102.2 x 142.2 cm (36 x 40 1/4 x 56 in.)

    Medium

    Marble from Carrara, Italy

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    2002.21

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Classical Roman Gallery - 213 More Info

    Description

    Lustral double basin with a bearded river god (the Nile) with wreathed hair swept back in a bun, nude apart from a cloak draped over his legs, holding a cornucopia in his left hand, a scroll (?) in his right. The god's left elbow reclines against a female sphinx (head missing), and his right foot rests against a rock; he is flanked on either side by a small shrine recessed for a statue (now missing), with pedimented tiled roof, decorated with an inverted double bound lotus flower in relief within each pediment, and a tall date palm carved in relief on either side. The deep slanting inner basin, into which water entered from a slit below the reclining deity, fits into a square basin with plughole; the front panels are recessed and decorated with two relief rings at each end. The back of the fountain has three holes for the introduction of water into each of the arched shrines. Scientific Analysis: University of South Florida Lab No. 8450: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.2 / delta18O -2.1, Attribution - Carrara. Justification - C and O isotopes, fine grain, white with flecks of gray. University of South Florida Lab No. 8451: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.4 / delta18O -2.0, University of South Florida Lab No. 8452: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.3 / delta18O -2.0, University of South Florida Lab No. 8453: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.3 / delta18O -2.0, University of South Florida Lab No. 8454: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.3 / delta18O -2.0, University of South Florida Lab No. 8455: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.3 / delta18O -2.0, Attribution - in all five cases, Carrara. Justification - C and O isotopes, fine grain, white with flecks of gray.

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  • Tomb Relief of The Publius Gessius...

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Tomb relief of the Publius Gessius family

    about 30–20 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Overall: 65 x 204.5 x 34cm (25 9/16 x 80 1/2 x 13 3/8in.)

    Medium

    Marble from Carrara, Italy

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    37.100

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Classical Roman Gallery - 213 More Info

    Description

    The tomb relief shows nearly half-figure portraits of three members of the family of the Gessi. The old man in the center, Publius Gessius, son of Publius of the Romilian tribe, evidently saw military service in the wars of the last century of the republic. He apparently held the high rank of either Military Tribune or Legatus, as indicated by his costume. He wears a muscle cuirass, an under-tunic (or arming-doublet) with pteryges, a sword belt worn high-up on the waist as a symbol of high rank, and a military cloak on the left shoulder and forearm. His left hand has a ring on the ring finger and grasps the hilt of his short sword. The matronly woman, Gessia Fausta, and the young man, Publius Gessius Primus, wear tunics and ample cloaks or outer garments. Gessia Fausta and Publius Gessius Primus were once slaves of Publius and were freed by him, as indicated by the inscriptions: GESSIA.P.L.FAVSTA.P.GESSIVS.P.F.ROM.P.GESSIVS.P.L.PRIMVS, "Gessia Fausta, freedwoman of Publius, Publius Gessius, son of Publius, of the Romilian tribe, Publius Gessius Primus, freedman of Publius" (left): EX.TESTAM(ENTO)/P.GESSI.P.L. /PRIMI, "From the testament of Publius Gessius Primus, freedman of Publius": (right): ARBIT[RATU]/GESSIA[E]/FAUSTA[E] "Under the direction of Gessia Fausta" Fausta was thus probably the wife, as well as the freedwoman, of Publius, and Primus was their son, born before his mother had been freed. Primus possesses a combination of his parents' features - his father's sunken cheeks and his mother's projecting upper jaw. The tomb was built from funds provided in the will of Primus, under the supervision of Fausta, the surviving member of the trio. The relief was carved in the severe, veristic style of the Roman late Republic, about 60 to 50 B.C. The upper right edge is mostly broken away, including part of the inscription; the upper molding and the left corners have suffered much slighter damages. The surfaces have a brown crusty deposit, visible in nearly all areas, including the damaged noses of the three portraits. Scientific Analysis: University of South Florida Lab No. 8417: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.0 / delta18O -1.9, Attribution - Carrara. Justification - C and O isotopes, fine grain, opaque, relief from Italy

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  • Priestess Burning Incense

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Priestess burning incense

    about A.D. 125–130

    Dimensions

    Overall: 180 x 60 x 41.5 cm, 830 kg (70 7/8 x 23 5/8 x 16 5/16 in., 1829.82 lb.) Block (White marble base): 14 x 52.7 x 64.8 cm (5 1/2 x 20 3/4 x 25 1/2 in.) Case (painted wooden base ): 76.8 x 59.4 x 71.4 cm (30 1/4 x 23 3/8 x 28 1/8 in.)

    Medium

    Marble, from the Greek island of Paros

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    34.113

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Classical Roman Gallery - 213 More Info

    Description

    The elderly woman is garbed as a priestess and is engaged in an act of sacrifice. Her missing right hand is to be imagined as scattering grains of incense, taken from a box held in her left hand, upon a small cylindrical altar, or incense burner, part of which is still to be seen at her right side. She wears her mantle as a veil and a long tunic or chiton, which is buttoned on the right upper arm and tied with a cord beneath the breasts in a knot of Hercules. A thick-soled sandal appears on the right foot. Five heavy braids of hair encircle the head, a style associated with the Empress Sabina and other women of the Imperial Court under the Emperor Hadrian. When combined with the fact that the pupils of the eyes are unincised and with the natural yet coldly sculptural wrinkles of the face, these coils indicate the statue was carved in the Hadrianic period, probably about A.D. 125-130. The end of the nose, the right hand, the left forearm and hand with the incense box, and most of the shaft of the incense burner have been broken away. There is a crack in the right elbow and some damage to the base. The injuries presumably were caused when the statue fell from a niche four feet above the floor of the tomb. The surfaces are in good condition, with a very light yellow-brown patina. Scientific Analysis: Harvard Lab No. HI757: Isotope ratios - delta13C +1.08 / delta18O -3.28, Attribution - Paros 2, Justification - Coarse grained marble with gray spots, Italian provenance.

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  • Sarcophagus w/Triumph of Dionysos

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Sarcophagus with triumph of Dionysos

    about A.D. 215–225

    Dimensions

    Overall: 77.5 x 208cm (30 1/2 x 81 7/8in.) Other (Body): 59cm (23 1/4in.) Other (lid): 18.5cm (7 5/16in.) Case (Rolling steel pedestal with wooden skirts/plex-bonnet): 77.5 x 228.6 x 76.5 cm (30 1/2 x 90 x 30 1/8 in.)

    Medium

    Marble, from the island of Proconnesus in the Sea of Marmara near Istanbul

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    1972.650

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Classical Roman Gallery - 213 More Info

    Description

    The god of wine and dramatic festivals, in full choral attitude, steps into a biga drawn by two Indian elephants with fringed cloths on their backs. He is supported by his companion the satyr Ampelos and attended by the complete Dionysiac train of Sileni, pans, satyrs, maenads, and the exotic animals of his triumph in India. The inscription reads :M~VIBIO~M~FIL~LIBERALI~PRAET~M~VIBIVS~AGESILAVS~IVNIOR~NVTRICIO~SUO~FEC ("Marcus Vibius Agesilaus junior made (it) for Marcus Vibius Liberalis, son of Marcus, the praetor, his foster-father" ). The condition is, generally speaking, superb, with the small breaks, missing limbs, and absent attributes apparent from illustrations. The surfaces, particularly of the nude or seminude figures, retain their high polish. There are no restorations of the kind that ruin so many sarcophagi. The sections cracked or broken through have been carefully rejoined, and the missing pieces of the lid hardly detract from the visual sweep and rhythm of the triumphal procession. The three-volume corpus of Dionysiac sarcophagi reveals that very few of these monuments of Greek art in the Roman Empire have their original (or any) lids preserved in any form or condition.

    Multimedia

  • Portrait (Bust) of a Woman

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Portrait of a woman

    31 B.C.–A.D. 14

    Dimensions

    Height x length (of face): 34.5 x 16.2 cm (13 9/16 x 6 3/8 in.)

    Medium

    Marble

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    99.345

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Classical Roman Gallery - 213 More Info

    Description

    This type of bust, which includes only the upper part of the shoulders and breast, dates to the Julio-Claudian period or slightly earlier. Her hairstyle features a nodus (literally, a knot) over her forehead, a from the end of the republic into the reign of Tiberius. Her hair is divided by two parallel partings into three portions. The middle section is brushed forward to form a roll above the forehead and is then divided into two braids wound around the head. The lateral sections cover the tips of the ears in wavy strands, to the back of the neck, where the ends of all three sections are gathered into a knot. The surface above the braids has fine parallel lines engraved on it. The tip of the nose is restored in plaster; there are hardly even any minor dents, and the surfaces are only slightly darkened or toned.

    Multimedia

  • Portrait (Bust) of a Small Boy

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Portrait of a small boy

    about A.D. 50

    Dimensions

    Height x length (of face): 24.5 x 9.2 cm (9 5/8 x 3 5/8 in.)

    Medium

    Marble, seemingly from the Greek islands

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    01.8202

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Classical Roman Gallery - 213 More Info

    Description

    This is the portrait of a boy two to three years old; the plump cheeks indicate that he could hardly be older. The fact that the bust is draped and includes more of the breast than is usual in the Julio-Claudian period suggests that the portrait is to be dated in the second half of the first century A.D. The bust could have been inserted in a rectangular terminal shaft running to the ground. Portraits of the very young Nero (or Britannicus) about A.D. 50 parallel this likeness of an anonymous child in arrangement of the hair, drapery, and in stylistic details. A bust of a baby boy in Copenhagen, originally from the tomb of the Licinian family at Rome, has a general form and specific details that hardly differ from those of the Boston boy, emphasizing the timeless qualities of these early imperial child portraits. The Copenhagen portrait has been dated either to about 25 B.C. or A.D. 40. Only the tip of the nose is missing; the edges of the drapery show slight damage. The surface has taken on a slightly shiny quality, from cleansing with acid.

    Multimedia

  • Sarcophagus w/Lid and Portraits of...

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Sarcophagus and lid with husband and wife

    350–300 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height x width x length: 93.3 x 117.4 x 213.8 cm (36 3/4 x 46 1/4 x 84 3/16 in.)

    Medium

    Travertine

    Classification

    Tomb equipment, Coffins, Sarcophagi

    Accession Number

    86.145a-b

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Etruscan Gallery - 117 More Info

    Description

    The top of the cover takes the form of a bed with pillows, and a man and his wife embrace under a large sheet. She wears a complex earring and he a bracelet of twisted strands. There is no costume visible. On the long side below the man is a frieze with four pairs of Greeks and Amazons in combat. A bead-and-reel molding appears above, and simple pilasters frame the scenes on the corners. The other side, the long panel below the woman, has only a plain fillet molding above, suggesting it was the back of the sarcophagus proper. The frieze features two pairs of horsemen and foot soldiers in combat, with a warrior in fighting pose on foot in the center. On the left end (facing the frieze with Greeks and Amazons), two lions bring down a bull. The bead-and-reel molding is seen above. On the right end, two griffins are tearing into a fallen horse. The condition is, generally speaking, excellent, with some traces of a dark brown deposit and an overall light brown to yellow patina. The sarcophagus is inscribed for Thanchvil Tarnai and her husband Larth Tetnies, son of Arnth Tetnies and Ramtha Vishnai.

    Multimedia

  • Facsmile of Painting on Left:

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Facsimile of painting on left wall, Tomba delle Bighe

    1901

    Dimensions

    Height x width: 204 x 516 cm ( 80 5/16 in. x 203 1/8)

    Medium

    Tempera on canvas

    Classification

    Reproductions

    Accession Number

    08.503

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    213.1 More Info

    Description

    Original in the Tomba delle Bighe (Tarquinia, about 480 B.C.). Main frieze, dancers among trees, upper frieze, sports events, spectators on grandstands.

    Multimedia

  • Statue of Athena Parthenos

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Statue of Athena Parthenos (the Virgin Goddess)

    2nd or 3rd century A.D.

    Dimensions

    Overall: 154 cm, 232.7 kg (60 5/8 in., 513 lb.) Stone (Dry mounted recessed 3 3/8" deep into Concrete base): 69.9 x 55.9 x 51.4 cm (27 1/2 x 22 x 20 1/4 in.) Mount (Concrete base dry mounted onto wooden pallet): 22.9 x 105.4 x 89.5 cm (9 x 41 1/2 x 35 1/4 in.)

    Medium

    Marble from Mt. Pentelikon near Athens

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    1980.196

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Classical Roman Gallery - 213 More Info

    Description

    Roman-period replica of the cult statue that once stood within the Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis, a chryselephantine (gold and ivory) colossal statue designed by the master sculptor Phidias and . dedicated in 438 B.C. The goddess wears a helmet on which are remains of Pegasoi on either side flanking a sphinx of which only the paws remain; above the visor are parts of protomes, probably deer; griffins in relief on the cheek pieces. Curls frame the face, tresses fall on her shoulders. Gorgon on aegis which is edged by snakes; snakes encircle her waist forming knot at the center. Condition: The head and neck were carved of a lighter marble than the rest of the figure. Joins are confirmed by matching curls above the left shoulder and the hair below the helmet and on back of aegis. Restored areas include a small part of the left eyelid, tip of the nose and left nostril, much of the lower lip and the end of the chin, and the curl of hair on the right side of her neck, including a small portion of the curved lower end of the helmet. There are no restorations on the body. Traces of paint remain on the lower curls on Athena's left shoulder. Ancient iron pegs are visible in the troughs of the arms, along with larger dowel holes for fitting the arms and the weight they supported. Some surfaces were carefully cleaned long ago; others preserve good root marks. Scientific Analysis: Harvard Lab No. HI752: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.76 / delta18O -8.63, Attribution - Pentelikon, Justification - Sparkling, fine grained marble.

    Multimedia

  • Domitian

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Domitian

    A.D. 69–75, reworked from a portrait of A.D. 64–68

    Dimensions

    35 x 17 cm (13 3/4 x 6 11/16 in.)

    Medium

    Marble, from Carrara in northwest Italy

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    88.639

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Classical Roman Gallery - 213 More Info

    Description

    Domitian (Emperor A.D. 81-96) is the subject of this life-sized portrait, probably made about A.D. 69-75 when his father Vespasian and his brother Titus were co-emperors. The large ears, the fleshy eyes with small upper lids and heavy lower ones, and the style of the hair around the ears show that the portrait was originally of the Emperor Nero (A.D. 54-68) and was probably executed is the last four years of his reign. After Nero's death, the similarities in appearance between Nero and Domitian (at that time an imperial prince) allowed this portrait to be recut into an image of Domitian. The Neronian hairstyle and the full hair over the temples suggest that this portrait is probably one of the earlier types of Domitian's portraiture, executed between A.D. 69 and A.D. 75. The plaster tip of the nose has now been removed; the face and hair have been cleaned. The neck was worked for insertion in a togate statue. Scientific Analysis: University of South Florida Lab No. 8426: Isotope ratios - delta13C +1.8 / delta18O -1.5, Attribution - Carrara. Justification - C and O isotopes, fine grain

    Multimedia

  • Architectural Panel w/a Griffin

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Architectural panel with a griffin

    about A.D. 175–200

    Dimensions

    Height x length: 104 x 139.2 cm (40 15/16 x 54 13/16 in.)

    Medium

    Marble, probably from the from the island of Proconnesus in the Sea of Marmara near Istanbul

    Classification

    Architectural elements

    Accession Number

    03.747

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Classical Roman Gallery - 213 More Info

    Description

    This relief together with 03.748 presented griffins confronting one another on either side of a central element. The composition would have had sacred and protective connotations and may have formed part of the decoration of a temple. It is also possible that the reliefs embellished a large funerary structure or a secular public building, such as a basilica or market hall. An eagle-griffin stands with one paw raised and the central element was probably a candelabrum. The griffin's tail turns into a rich acanthus vine, which sends out a lateral shoot and terminates in a cluster of leaves. The frame consists (from inside out) of an astragal, a row of acanthus leaves with intervening leaf tongues, a Lesbian cymation, and an astragal. The panel is incomplete at the right end, where it has been cut off vertically. The outer, rectangular frame is somewhat damaged. It originally would have been paired with 03.748.

    Multimedia

  • Tomb Relief of Petronia Hedone...

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Tomb relief of Petronia Hedone and her son, Lucius Petronius Philemon

    about A.D. 110–120

    Dimensions

    Height x width x depth at bottom: 56.5 x 49.5 cm x 8.9 (22 1/4 x 19 1/2 x 3 1/2 in.)

    Medium

    Marble

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    99.348

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Classical Roman Gallery - 213 More Info

    Description

    The busts of Hedone and her son Philemon are placed in a shallow, rounded niche with a projecting ledge, her left shoulder in front of his right. She is shown as a middle-aged woman whose dress is fastened above each shoulder by knotted strings. He is depicted as a young boy who wears a tunic with a mantle hanging on his left shoulder. The relief belongs to the Trajanic or early Hadrianic periods, about A.D. 110 to 120. Sculptural indication of the pupils did not become general until Hadrian's reign, but there are examples of its use earlier, particularly when tentative and unusual, as here. Hedone's hair is arranged in something of the fashion of the females of Trajan's family, as demonstrated by their coins (and the head of Marciana, object 16.286) On both heads the pupils of the eyes are indicated by small drilled holes set just below the upper lids. The boy's eyes, better preserved than Hedone's, are crescent shaped. The panel below the ledge contains the following inscription: PETRONIA · HEDONE · FECIT · SIBI ET · L · PETRONIO · PHILEMONI · FILIO ET · LIBERTIS · LIBERTABVSQVAE POSTERISQVAE · EORVM "Petronia Hedone made (this monument) for herself and for Lucius Petronius Philemon, her son, and for her freedmen and freedwomen and their descendants" The top and back of the slab are smoothed, the sides left slightly rough. A small, round hole, as if for a pipe, is drilled through the middle of the relief. The noses of both heads have been mostly broken away, and there are minor dents to the surfaces. Otherwise the preservation is excellent, with dull yellow coloring. Re-use as a fountain relief must belong to post-classical times.

    Multimedia

  • Portrait of a Man (Curly Hair)

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Portrait of a man

    about A.D. 140–165

    Dimensions

    Height x length (of face): 82 x 17 cm (32 5/16 x 6 11/16 in.)

    Medium

    Marble, probably from the Greek island of Paros

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    24.419

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Classical Roman Gallery - 213 More Info

    Description

    This young man of the Antonine period bears a very close resemblance to Marcus Aurelius as Caesar (between 140 and 161) about A.D. 145. His chin, however, is much less pronounced than that of the second Antonine ruler, and therefore this masterful portrait in a translucent marble most suited to the richness of carving must represent an anonymous person of high station. He was perhaps the son, brother, or important follower of a governor of Egypt. The cloak is pinned around the shoulders in a fashion often affected by princes and notables in military or high civic service. The mass of hair has been elaborately worked with drill and fine chisel to create careful details amid the Antonine baroque richness. The curls over the forehead are deeply undercut, and the eyebrows have been modeled in relief. Flesh and drapery are polished to a high degree. A section of the tunic shows under the heavy folds of the cloak, which is fastened on the right shoulder by a brooch shaped like a four-petaled flower. The hems of the garments have been indicated by incised lines. The shape of the the brooch is echoed in the enrichment of the supporting plate above the round pedestal. The bust and pedestal are ancient and belong together; there is merely some minor damage in the hair and the drapery. Portions of the surface have been cleaned with acid; the entire ensemble has a delicate, light yellow to golden brown coloration. Scientific Analysis: Marble has been scientifically tested with X-Ray Diffraction and determined to be Calcitic. University of South Florida Lab number 8434-5: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.46, 2.1 / delta18O -3.5, -3.37, Attribution - Probably Paros 2, Possibly Naxos-Melanes, Justification - C and O isotopes, coarse-grained marble. [Label text]: This portrait bears a close resemblance to portraits of Marcus Aurelius created before he became emperor in A.D. 161. Slight differences make it clear, however, that this is not the young prince but an imperial subject who modeled his image on that of the heir-apparent.

    Multimedia

  • Bust of an Old Man

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Bust of an old man

    about 30 B.C.–A.D. 50

    Dimensions

    height x width (max.): 35.5 x 25 cm (14 x 19 13/16 in.)

    Medium

    Marble, from Carrara in northwest Italy

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    1991.534

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Classical Roman Gallery - 213 More Info

    Description

    One sees here a man with close-cropped hair and a cap-like ridge on his forehead. He has thin, slanted brows and close-set eyes. His face is thin, drawn, and bony with sagging jowls; but he has a stong chin with dimple. The underside of was bust shaved flat near the front as if at one point the bust was adapted for another use. Encrustation is present on the surface of the marble, especially over proper left side. There is an old gash on back of head, part of the nose is missing, and there is an old chip from the chin and edges of the bust. Scientific Analysis: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.115 / delta18O -1.661, Attribution - Carrara, Justification (Petrographic Analysis) - maximum grain size (0.9 mm).

    Multimedia

  • Bust of a Man

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Bust of a man

    about 50 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height: 35.7 (14 1/16) in.); depth: 18 cm (7 1/16 in.)

    Medium

    Terracotta

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    01.8008

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Classical Roman Gallery - 213 More Info

    Description

    This life-size portrait of a man was perhaps based on a death-mask, which accounts for the individualized features of a mature man. It was skillfully retouched by the artist, who added clay and used modeling instruments- most obviously in the hair and the pupils of the eyes. It may have been a study for a marble or bronze bust.

    Multimedia

  • Relief w/Three Men Playing a Board...

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Relief with three men playing a board game

    about A.D. 225

    Dimensions

    Height x width: 46.3 x 54 cm (18 1/4 x 21 1/4 in.)

    Medium

    Limestone

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    1970.346

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    214A More Info

    Description

    This relief shows three men seated around a gaming table. The bearded man on the left watches the checkers or chips; the bearded man on the right is moving one in front of him; and the man in the center holds a stack in his left hand, the right hand raised in the Late Antique gesture of victory, or of a consul giving the signal for circus games to begin. As prosperous citizens of a caravan city famed for its commercial enterprise, these men doubtless enjoyed being shown sculpturally, perhaps in a family tomb complex. The gesture the first bearded man makes with his left hand, index and pinkie fingers extended, is similar to those in Palmyrene funerary relief portraits. The deceased might have been the young man (acting as judge?) in the center, and the other two, older men his business associates or his father and uncle, since Palmyrene tomb chambers were largely dynastic. Symbolically speaking, the game could be "the game of life," and the victory thus could be suggestive of eternal happiness in an elysium of gaming and tabernae (bars). Students of ancient furniture will find the articulated chair at the left an example of unusual domestic craftsmanship. The linear drapery and tilted perspective present Palmyrene sculpture at its Greek imperial best, foreshadowing aspects of popular art in both East and West at the outset of the Middle Ages. The condition is good. The edges of the frame have been damaged. The noses of all three men, the forehead of the man at the left, the side of the face of the man in the center, and the legs of the chairs or stools have suffered.

    Multimedia

  • Athlete w/a Scraper

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Athlete with a scraper (Apoxyomenos)

    about A.D. 110–135

    Dimensions

    Height (with plinth): 71.5 cm (28 1/8 in.)

    Medium

    Marble from Göktepe , Turkey (near Aphrodisias)

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    00.304

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Greek & Roman Sculpture Gallery - 211 More Info

    Description

    The figure stands with his left leg bearing the weight of his body as his bent right leg is advanced forward slightly. He looks down towards his outstretched left hand, which grasps a cloth and part of the strigil (scraper) between his thumb and index finger. Condition: Found in nine pieces, the statue was reassembled without any added restorations. Missing is a junction of the neck and shoulder, the middle portion of the curved blade of the strigil, and the lower right arm. A break runs across the upper right arm at the elbow. A vertical mark, possibly a plough mark, is visible on the back of the head. Light yellow patina. Scientific Analysis: University of South Florida Lab No. 8462: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.8 / delta18O -2.4, Attribution - Göktepe 3-4, Turkey (near Aphrodisias). Justification - C and O isotopes, fine grain, pure white.

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  • Woman w/a Funerary Monument

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Woman from a funerary monument

    about 330–325 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height: 201 cm (79 1/8 in.)

    Medium

    Marble from Mount Pentelikon near Athens

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    98.642

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Greek & Roman Sculpture Gallery - 211 More Info

    Description

    The over life-sized standing woman is carved in very high relief, with traces of the background visible on the figure's left side. She wears a chiton underneath the himation that is draped over her head, covers the upper part of her right arm, passes across her torso, and is gathered in her raised left hand. Bearing the weight of her frame on her left leg, she bends and turns her right leg away her body. With her downcast head, the figure gazes to her left. Her hair is roughly carved into parallel rows of wavy locks that are crowned by a braided "tiara." Condition: Missing her right forearm and hand at the elbow. Large mortise at the elbow of the right hand and square dowel hole visible on the right side of the figure. The nose is a plaster restoration and parts of the right foot and plinth are marble restorations. Lips filed down. Drapery edges smoothed off. Worn surface with pitting in the marble.

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  • Water Jar (Hydria) w/Women at the...

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Water jar (hydria) with women at the fountain

    about 520 B.C.

    the Priam Painter

    Dimensions

    Height: 53 cm (20 7/8 in.); diameter: 37 cm (14 9/16 in.)

    Medium

    Ceramic, Black Figure

    Classification

    Vessels

    Accession Number

    61.195

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    This water jar is decorated in two main areas: the large scene on the body, and the smaller scene on the shoulder of the vessel. The main scene shows five women filling their water jars (hydriae) at a fountain house (krene), from four lionheaded and one donkeyheaded spouts. The women are unusually dressed up for such an errand: they wear elegant dresses, head coverings and jewelry. Reeds trail from architrave of fountain-house, marking the setting as rather damp. The fountainhouse is of the Doric architectural order: the columns have no bases, and the capital is made of two sections, the cushion, or echinus, and the square top, the abacus. There also appears to be a frieze of metopes above. The shoulder of the vessel depicts a four-horse (quadriga) race. The charioteers wear their typical garment, which is a long shift dress. They hold the reins and a stick used to goad the horses to run faster.

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  • Money Box for Votive Offerings

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Moneybox for votive offerings

    about 180 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height x width: 9.4 x 10 cm (3 11/16 x 3 15/16 in.)

    Medium

    Bronze

    Classification

    Vessels

    Accession Number

    61.102

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    The lid has a bucket handle and a slot with raised molding. A mask, perhaps of Hygeia, appears as an appliqué on the front. There are three holes for sealing, the upper one also piercing the lid. A snake, coiled in a figure-8, is fixed to the top between the slot and the handle. Between the lugs for the handle is the inscription ( Greek inscription to be added ); ("Be of Good Health").

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  • Aes Signatum (Ingot) w/Bull

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Aes signatum (ingot) with bull

    280–250 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Overall: 163 x 95.5 mm. Weight: 1.7 kg.

    Medium

    Bronze (cast)

    Classification

    Numismatics, Coins

    Accession Number

    69.4

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    212C More Info

    Description

    Obverse: Bull walking to right, head facing. Reverse: Bull walking to left, head facing.

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  • Roman Dish

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Dish

    about A.D. 317

    Dimensions

    Height: 3.8 cm Diameter: 16.5 cm Weight: 315 grams

    Medium

    Silver

    Classification

    Vessels

    Accession Number

    1970.568

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    212C More Info

    Description

    Commemorative dish celebrating the tenth anniversary of imperial rule of the emperor Licinius I. One of a series of cast and hammered silver bowls by an official silversmith at Naissus (Nis in Yugoslavia). Inscription: LICINIAVGVSTESEMPERVINCAS and city stamp in outer circle. Inside central wreath: SICX/-/SICXX.

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  • Medallion w/Bust of Commodus in...

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Medallion with bust of Commodus in the guise of Hercules

    A.D. 192

    Dimensions

    Diameter: 42 mm. Weight: 62.63 gm. Die Axis: 12

    Medium

    Bronze (bimetallic)

    Classification

    Numismatics, Medallions

    Accession Number

    58.519

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    212C More Info

    Description

    Obverse: Bearded bust of Commodus to left in lionskin of Hercules. LAELIVSAVRELIVS COMMODVSAVGPIVSFELIX Reverse: Hercules naked, standing slightly left, right hand on hip, left holding bow resting on pile of rocks with lionskin and club. HERCVLIROMANOAVG PMTRPXVIIICOSVIIPP

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  • Mirror w/Minerva, Venus & Juno

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Mirror with Minerva, Venus, and Juno

    about A.D. 100–200

    Dimensions

    Diameter: 16.4 cm (6 7/16 in.)

    Medium

    Gilt bronze

    Classification

    Tools & equipment, Cosmetic and Medical

    Accession Number

    69.71

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    The scene may be part of the Judgement of Paris. Athena, Aphrodite, and Hera (?) are seen in a landscape setting. Athena, in helmet and chiton, holds her spear and rests against shield and aegis. A nude goddess (Hera?) sits on the former on the balustrade of the steps (an altar?) where Aphrodite sits. Aphrodite, holding a sprig of pomegranates (?) has a kalathos on her left arm, who rests her left arm against a pillar. Behind Athena, an owl sits on the rocks. In the area below the groundline are two birds flanked by a torch and a mirror. Rolled fillets and an egg-and-dart molding enframe the scene. Extensive remains of gilding. Rim of the lower half is broken off. The backing with the reliefs has been mounted on a disc which has a polished outer surface. A scorpion crawls toward Athena's owl. Below the ground line are a mirror, a basket of fruit, and a torch.

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  • Mosaic Emblema w/Cupids Gathering...

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Mosaic emblema with cupids gathering roses in a garden

    late 2nd–mid-3rd century

    Dimensions

    Lender accessory (Mount (overall dims of object in the mount)): 48.5 x 61.1 x 12.3 cm (19 1/8 x 24 1/16 x 4 13/16 in.) Framed (Aluminum frame with a pair of wall cleats): 39.8 x 59.8 x 5.8 cm (15 11/16 x 23 9/16 x 2 5/16 in.)

    Medium

    Fine stone and glass tesserae on terracotta panel

    Classification

    Mosaics

    Accession Number

    2003.340

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    A portable panel mosaic comprised of three registers, only two can be clearly read, that illustrates the rose harvest and garland business. At the top register three cupids gather roses in their own baskets in the garden. The garden is bordered to the left by a picket fence. At the right the fence is more elegant, with rectangular sections strengthened by diagonal crossbars. There is a trapezoidal re-entrance at the center of this right-hand section of fence. In the middle register , a cupid brings in a basket of roses on his back, in front him is a cupid who holds up a stick from which hangs a string of roses and a rose pomander hangs from a ribbon around his left wrist. At the center is a cupid seated on a basket of roses facing a four-legged table with clusters of roses neatly arranged. He holds up a garland of roses and may be the garland maker. At his back is a tree with silvery green leaves. At the left, a cupid holds a long pole from which are suspended four garlands. In his left hand he holds two more garlands. He may be about to set out to sell the garlands. The mosaic is bordered by a black band surrounded by a brown area. It is composed of fine tesserae on top of a panel of terracotta, making it an "emblema": created in a studio and installed ready-made into a pavement of coarser mosaic.

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