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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.

Pottery from Around the World - English High School

  • Vase with Landscape in Qianlong...

    Slide Notes

    This piece is very colorful in person. 

    Details

    Vase with landscape design

    1662–1722

    Dimensions

    Overall: 49 cm (19 5/16 in.)

    Medium

    Porcelain, Jingdezhen ware

    Classification

    Ceramics, Porcelain

    Accession Number

    03.102

    Collections
    Asia More Info

    Description

    Multimedia

  • Vase with a dragon and the poet...

    Slide Notes

    This is another colorful piece.

    What is on the side?

    What are the people doing?

    Details

    Vase

    1916

    Dimensions

    16.5 cm (6 1/2 in.)

    Medium

    Porcelain, Jingdezhen ware: black ground

    Classification

    Ceramics, Porcelain

    Accession Number

    1971.673

    Collections
    Asia
    On View
    Schmid Gallery (Chinese Ceramics) - 275 More Info

    Description

    Multimedia

  • Cosmetic Jar in the Form of A...

    Slide Notes

    What does this jar look like?

    What went inside it?

    Details

    Cosmetic jar in the form of a fish

    1479–1425 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Length x width: 16.8 x 8.8 cm (6 5/8 x 3 7/16 in.)

    Medium

    Red pottery

    Classification

    Vessels

    Accession Number

    24.1785

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Egyptian New Kingdom Gallery - 210 More Info

    Description

    Red glazed vase in form of fish. One handle. Black painted decoration. Tail mended.

    Multimedia

  • Bowl with tilapia and lotuses

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Bowl with fish and lotuses

    1400 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height x diameter: 3.8 x 15.7 cm (1 1/2 x 6 3/16 in.)

    Medium

    Bichrome faience

    Classification

    Vessels

    Accession Number

    1977.619

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Egyptian New Kingdom Gallery - 210 More Info

    Description

    The marsh scene painted on the interior surface of this shallow bowl is perfectly adapted to its shape. The bowl is a pool: six curving stems with lotus buds radiate pinwheel-like from a central square, with four tilapia passing over and partly overlapping them to create a sense of depth. Three of the fish have other lotus stems issuing forth from their mouths; these also terminate in buds that float up to the vessel's rim to join the others. In ancient Egyptian art no motif is too modest to be innocent of ritual symbolism. And so it is with this shallow bowl, for in Egyptian mythology, the marsh was the seething hotbed of creation. The blue lotus, whose flowers open from sunrise through midday and close at night, was closely associated with the sun's rebirth each morning. The tilapia was a symbol of fertility and rebirth since Predynastic times, based no doubt on the creature's remarkable habit of taking its newly hatched young into its mouth for shelter. The young fish appear to emerge from the parent's mouth as though newly born, a phenomenon the Egyptians interpreted as spontaneous generation. This recalled the god Atum, whose own act of spontaneous generation initiated the creation of the Egyptian universe. The waters in which the fish swim are those of the boundless, life-giving Nun, the primeval ocean, while the central square motif is the primeval mound that rose above these waters. Such marsh bowls were not made as tableware. Many pottery fragments with marshland imagery have been found at temples and shrines dedicated to the goddess Hathor, who was associated with sex, love, motherhood, fertility, and rebirth. Less frequently, the bowls have been found as tomb gifts. Given the intact condition of this bowl, it probably came from a tomb, where objects often survived best. The tombs from which such marsh bowls have been excavated belonged to nonroyal and mostly female persons. In a burial context, the fertility imagery on the bowls was meant to facilitate the tomb owner's rebirth.

    Multimedia

  • Two-handled jar (amphora) with...

    Slide Notes

    Who is in this picture?

    What are they doing?

    We will look at the front and the back at the MFA.

    What colors are the figures?

    Details

    Two-handled jar (amphora) with Achilles and Ajax

    about 525–520 B.C.

    the Andokides Painter

    Dimensions

    Height: 55.5 cm (21 7/8 in.); diameter: 34 cm (13 3/8 in.)

    Medium

    Ceramic, Black Figure and Red Figure (Bilingual)

    Classification

    Vessels

    Accession Number

    01.8037

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Greek Archaic Gallery - 113 More Info

    Description

    This amphora is decorated on both sides but in different painting techniques. One side has a scene depicted in the Red Figure style, and the other side shows the same scene in the Black Figure style. This type of decoration puts the vase into the so-called Bilingual group. The traditional attributions for the painter is: the Red Figure (side A) is by the Andokides Painter, and the Black Figure (side B) is by the Lysippides Painter. This scene, known from other representations in Greek art, depicts the heroes Achilles and Ajax playing a board game. The warriors wear their helmets and hold two spears each. Ajax has his right hand near the board, ready to play when his turn comes. Both heroes wear short tunics (chitoniskoi), and are armed, with corslet, cushes, greaves; they wear short cloaks over their armour. Behind them, their shields lean against something, with their helmets perched on top; behind them, or beside them at arm's reach. Both sit with the hither leg drawn back; Ajax is farther from the table than Achilles, although he sits farther forward on his block (thakos). Condition: Large pieces have been restored. On Side A, heads are restored.

    Multimedia

  • Drinking CUlp (Kylix)

    Slide Notes

    this cup could be held to your face like a mask

    Details

    Drinking cup (kylix)

    about 530–520 B.C.

    The Group of Walters 48.42

    Dimensions

    Height: 12.3 cm (4 13/16 in.)

    Medium

    Ceramic, Black Figure

    Classification

    Vessels

    Accession Number

    01.8057

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    Interior: Gorgoneion in red figure technique. Exterior on each side: a satyr's head in red figure technique between two black figure eyes. Broken and repaired.

    Multimedia

  • Plate with Portrait of a Woman

    Slide Notes

    16th century Italy

    Who is in this plate?

    Details

    Basin

    about 1450–75

    Dimensions

    Overall: 47.7 x 12.7 cm (18 3/4 x 5 in.)

    Medium

    Tin-glazed earthenware with cobalt and copper luster decoration

    Classification

    Ceramics, Pottery, Earthenware

    Accession Number

    1992.397

    Collections
    Europe
    On View
    Italian Renaissance Gallery (former Egypt) - 206 More Info

    Description

    Deep circular bowl with wide rim decorated with radiating blue and copper lustre leaf decoration around a central roundel with a heraldic lion.

    Multimedia