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MFA Images: Religion and Mythology

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  • Amulet of Harsaphes (Heryshef)

    Egyptian
    Third Intermediate Period, Dyn. 23, Neferkara Pe
    740–725 B.C.

    Object Place: Egypt, Ihnasya el-Medina (Herakleopolis Magna)

    Description

    The town of Ihnasya el-Medina, capital of Lower Egypt in the First Intermediate Period, returned to prominence in the Third Intermediate Period when it was the seat of a local king named Neferkara Peftjawybast. An ancient inscription now in the Cairo Museum states that he collaborated with the invading Nubian kings of Dynasty 25.

    This precious gold statuette, found in the pavement of the temple of Ihnasya, is one of the few surviving monuments of that ruler. It represents the local god Harsaphes, a ram deity. The Greeks identified him with Herakles (Hercules), hence the town’s Classical name, Herakleopolis Magna. The god appears here in the form of a ram-headed man. As usual, the long wig masks what might otherwise be an awkward transition from human body to animal head. The ram’s long corkscrew horns support a tall crown with two ostrich plumes at the sides, known in Egyptian as the atef, which could be worn by the king as well as various gods, notably Osiris and Harsaphes. Cast using the lost-wax process, the god’s body is svelte and elegant, simply clad in a short wraparound kilt. Chased into the underside of the base is a hieroglyphic inscription naming the ruler along with a prayer for “life and protection.” In back of the head is a loop for suspension so that the statuette could be worn as an amulet.

    Provenance

    From Ihnasya el-Medina (Herakleoplis Magna), hyposytyle hall of temple. 1903-1904: excavated by William Matthew Flinders Petrie for the Egypt Exploration Fund, assigned to the EEF by the Egyptian government; 1905, presented to the MFA by the EEF. (Accession date: January 1, 1905)

    Credit Line

    Egypt Exploration Fund by subscription

    Details

    Dimensions

    Height x width x depth: 6 x 0.7 x 1.7 cm (2 3/8 x 1/4 x 11/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    06.2408

    Medium or Technique

    Cast gold

    Not On View

    Collections

    Jewelry, The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Jewelry / Adornment, Amulets

    More Info
  • Fragment of a mummy-case

    Egyptian
    Third Intermediate Period
    1070–760 B.C.

    Description

    Fragment of a cartonnage mummy case depicting Osiris and two of the four sons of Horus. Gesso on linen. Heavy white priming; light yellow ground; three figures in conventional profile to left in red, green, blue, yellow and black; irregular edges.

    Provenance

    By 1836: Robert Hay Collection, Linplum, Scotland; 1863: to his son, Robert James Alexander Hay; 1868-1872: Way Collection, Boston (purchased by Samuel A. Way through London dealers Rollin and Feuardent, 27 Haymarket); 1872: given to the MFA by Samuel's son, C. Granville Way.

    Credit Line

    Hay Collection—Gift of C. Granville Way

    Details

    Dimensions

    Height x width: 24.5 x 14.5 cm (9 5/8 x 5 11/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    72.4807

    Medium or Technique

    Cartonnage

    Not On View

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Tomb equipment, Coffins, Sarcophagi

    More Info
  • Two-handled jar (amphora) with Herakles driving a bull to sacrifice

    Greek
    Archaic Period
    about 525–520 B.C.
    the Andokides Painter, the Lysippides Painter

    Place of Manufacture: Athens, Attica, Greece

    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 Black Figure (side A) is by the Lysippides Painter, and the Red Figure (side B) is by the Andokides Painter.

    Both sides depict Herakles driving a bull to sacrifice, past a tree, holding his club in his right hand, and in his left the rope fastened round the horns of the bull, also a bundle of spits. He wears a short tunic (chitoniskos), a lionskin, a belt, has sword and quiver slung, by crossbands, at his left flank, carries two small wineskins, apparently empty, over his left arm. The bull’s head is filleted with colorful ribbons, and the woollen fillet has the form commonly used for this purpose as for others, tied at intervals and the ends splayed.

    Condition: Considerably restored.

    Provenance

    By 1842: with Basseggio, Rome; by 1854: Joly de Bammeville Collection (Christies auction, May 13, 1854, lot 40); date unknown in the mid 19th century: W. H. Forman Collection; inherited first by his sister-in-law Mrs. Burt and later by his nephew Major A. H. Browne of Callaly Castle, Northumberland, somewhere around the year 1889; by 1899: with Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, 13 Wellington Street, Strand, London, W.C. (auction of the Forman Collection, June 19-22, lot 305); 1899: with Edward Perry Warren; purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, 1899, for $ 32,500.00 (this is the total price for MFA 99.338-99.542)

    Credit Line

    Henry Lillie Pierce Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Caskey-Beazley, Attic Vase Paintings (MFA), no. 115.

    Dimensions

    Height: 53.2 cm (20 15/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    99.538

    Medium or Technique

    Ceramic, Black Figure and Red Figure (Bilingual)

    On View

    Greek Archaic Gallery (Gallery 113)

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Vessels

    More Info
  • Seated Sekhmet

    Egyptian
    New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, reign of Amenhotep III
    1390–1352 B.C.

    Findspot: Egypt, Thebes, temple of Mut

    Description

    Sekhmet with the head of a lioness seated on square seat, holding ankh in left hand. Inscription of Amenhotep III.

    Provenance

    From Thebes, Karnak, temple of Mut. 1835: collected by John Lowell, Jr. with permission of the Egyptian government (Lowell diary 4:2, March 14, 1835); 1875: given to the MFA by John A. Lowell and Miss Lowell. (Accession Date: March 18, 1875)

    Credit Line

    Gift of John A. Lowell and Miss Lowell

    Details

    Dimensions

    Height x width x depth: 126.6 x 53.3 x 66.7 cm (49 13/16 x 21 x 26 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    75.7

    Medium or Technique

    Granodiorite

    On View

    Egypt: Sculpture and Tomb Chapels (Gallery 209)

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Sculpture

    More Info
  • The Finding of Moses

    1870s
    Alexander F. Loemans (Canadian (born in France), 1816–1898 American)

    Description

    Provenance

    The artist; Reverend. Mr. Kenyon, Brooklyn, N.Y.; to the parents of Mrs. George C. Bull, New York; to Mrs. George C. Bull; to Major George C. Bull, New York; with William Macbeth, New York, 1945; to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I., 1945; to MFA, 1947, gift of Martha C. (Mrs. Maxim) Karolik.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    75.25 x 121.92 cm (29 5/8 x 48 in.)

    Accession Number

    47.1231

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

    More Info
  • The Ascension

    1775
    John Singleton Copley (American, 1738–1815)

    Description

    Provenance

    1775, the artist; 1815, by descent to his son, Lord Lyndhurst (1772-1863), London. With M. Grist, London. Martha Babcock Amory (1812-1880), Boston, granddaughter of the artist; 1880, by descent to her daughter, Susan Greene Amory (Mrs. F. Gordon) Dexter (1840-1925), Boston; 1925, bequest of Susan Green Dexter to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 24, 1925)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Susan Greene Dexter in memory of Charles and Martha Babcock Amory

    Details

    Dimensions

    81.28 x 73.02 cm (32 x 28 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    25.95

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Liberty Mutual Gallery (Gallery 136)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

    More Info
  • Saul Reproved by Samuel

    1798
    John Singleton Copley (American, 1738–1815)

    Description

    Provenance

    1798, the artist; May 18, 1811, Property of J. S. Copley Sale, Christie's, London, lot 41 (bought in); 1815, by descent to the artist's son, Lord Lyndhurst (1772-1863), London; March 5, 1864, Lyndhurst Sale, Christie's, London, lot 84, to Martha Babcock Amory (1812-1880), Boston, grandddaughter of the artist; 1880, by descent to her daughter, Susan Greene Amory (Mrs. F. Gordon) Dexter (1840-1925), Boston; 1925, bequest of Susan Greene Dexter to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 24, 1925)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Susan Greene Dexter in memory of Charles and Martha Babcock Amory

    Details

    Dimensions

    172.08 x 217.49 cm (67 3/4 x 85 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    25.99

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Liberty Mutual Gallery (Gallery 136)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

    More Info
  • Expulsion from the Garden of Eden

    1828
    Thomas Cole (American (born in England), 1801–1848)

    Description

    Thomas Cole first exhibited Expulsion from the Garden of Eden along with his Garden of Eden (Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas) in 1828 at the National Academy of Design in New York, of which he had been a founding member. Writing to his patron Robert Gilmore, Cole noted that his submissions aimed for a higher form of landscape painting. Although the works failed to sell, Gilmore supported Cole’s travels abroad and set him on his way to receiving a major commission from New York art patron Luman Reed to paint a series of five monumental canvases depicting the Course of Empire (1836, New-York Historical Society).
    Immigrating to the United States from England at the age of eighteen, Cole was likely inspired by contemporary British art when he conceived his scene of the Expulsion. He had relied upon British drawing books and prints for the rudiments of his artistic education, and his scene of Adam and Eve dwarfed by promontories of terrifying proportions recalls British painter and printmaker John Martin’s illustrations for John Milton’s Paradise Lost, which was popular on both sides of the Atlantic. [1]Cole’s dramatic use of light streaming through the rocky portal to Paradise is clearly reminiscent of Martin’s history paintings [60.1157].

    In his 1835 Essay on American Scenery, Cole would describe the beauties of the American wilderness and its capacity to reveal God’s creation as a metaphoric Eden. He considered European scenery to reflect the ravages of civilization, for which primeval forests had been felled, rugged mountains had been smoothed, and impetuous rivers had been turned from their courses. In contrast, Cole believed the American wilderness to embody a state of divine grace and lamented that the signs of progress were rapidly encroaching. In his Expulsion, Cole vividly portrays both Paradise and a hostile world replete with the consequences of earthly knowledge. These opposing realms meet near the center of the canvas. The profusion of flora and fauna evokes the beauty and harmony of Eden; outside the portal to Paradise, Adam and Eve are cast into an abyss marked by blasted trees, desolate rocks, and an ominous wolf.

    Notes
    1. John Milton, Paradise Lost, with illustrations designed and engraved by John Martin (London: Septimus Prowett, 1827).

    This text was adapted from Elliot Bostwick Davis et al., American Painting [http://www.mfashop.com/9020398034.html], MFA Highlights (Boston: MFA Publications, 2003).

    Inscription

    Lower left, on cliff: T Cole

    Provenance

    1828, the artist; 1829, Dr. David Hosack (1769-1835), New York; 1835, by descent to his wife, Magdalena Coster (Mrs. David) Hosack; 1846, by descent to Dr. Hosack's son-in-law, Dr. J. Kearny Rodgers, New York; 1849, James Lenox (1800-1880), New York; 1870, Lenox Library, New York; 1895, Lenox Foundation, New York Public Library; April 14-16, 1943, Parke-Bernet Galleries, lot 533; 1943, with Arnold Seligmann, Rey, & Co., New York; 1943, to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I.; 1947, gift of Martha C. (Mrs. Maxim) Karolik to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 12, 1947)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    100.96 x 138.43 cm (39 3/4 x 54 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    47.1188

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Waleska Evans James Gallery (Gallery 236)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

    More Info
  • Covered drinking cup (kylix)

    Greek
    Classical Period
    about 460–450 B.C.
    Possibly by the Carlsruhe Painter

    Place of Manufacture: Athens, Attica, Greece

    Description

    Both the form and decoration of this cup are extremely unusual. The cover, seen here from above, was not designed to open. The cup was filled through a hollow in its stemmed base, and libations were poured out through the opening in the cover. The cup depicts the god Apollo appearing before one of the nine Muses, goddesses of the arts, whom he led and inspired. The lyre this Muse holds was originally gilded. She sits on a rock and wears a light brown dress (chiton).

    The exterior sides of the cup are decorated with two (one on each side) fully draped women running, carrying sprigs.

    Provenance

    By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: found in a tomb near Cape Zoster with 00.357); February 1900: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren

    Credit Line

    Henry Lillie Pierce Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Caskey-Beazley, Attic Vase Paintings (MFA), no. 036; Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 033.

    Dimensions

    Height: 7.7 cm (3 1/16 in.); diameter: 16.6 cm (6 9/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    00.356

    Medium or Technique

    Ceramic, white ground with traces of gilding and traces of a red undercoat for the gilding

    Not On View

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Vessels

    More Info
  • Drinking cup (skyphos) with the departure and recovery of Helen

    Greek
    Late Archaic Period
    about 490–480 B.C.
    Painter Makron, Potter Hieron

    Place of Manufacture: Athens, Attica, Greece

    Description

    Side A: Paris (named Alexandros here) is leading Helen away from Sparta and the Palace of Menelaos. Aeneas, with a lion shield, accompanies Paris. Aphrodite and Eros flank Helen. Peitho, the personification of persuasion, follows behind Aphrodite. The boy under the handle is thought to be Helen’s son by Menelaos.

    Side B: During the sack of Troy. Helen fleeing to the Sanctuary of Apollo. Menelaos, at the right, sees Helen and draws his sword to kill her. Aphrodite is behind Helen, present as an intervening force. Menelaos is in the act of dropping his sword, overcome by Helen’s beauty. The priest of the sanctuary, Chryses, and his daughter, Chryseis are also present (at far left). Priam is seated under handle at the right, watching the story unfold.

    Painted inscriptions: “Aineas”; “Alexandros”; “Aphrodite” (twice); “Priam”; “Helen” (twice); “Kriseis”; “Kriseus”; “Menelaos”

    Scratched on handle: “Hieron made (it)” (HIERON EPOIESEN)
    Painted under the opposite handle: “Makron drew (it)” (MAKRON EGRAPHSEN)

    The size of this vessel suggests it was made for display, rather than use, and like huge kylikes (parade cups) of the same period which could not have been used for drinking.

    Inscription

    Inscriptions: "Aineas"; "Alexandros"; "Aphrodite" (twice); "Priam"; "Helen" (twice); "Kriseis"; "Kriseus"; "Menelaos", "Hieron "made [it] (HIERON EPOIESEN), "Makron painted [it]" (MAKRON EGRAPHSEN)

    Signed

    Scratched on handle: "Hieron made (it)" (HIERON EPOIESEN) Painted under the opposite handle: "Makron drew (it)" (MAKRON EGRAPHSEN)

    Provenance

    1879: Marchese Marcello Spinelli Collection (according to F. von Duhn, Bullettino, 1879, and Caskey-Beazley III, no. 140, the vase was found leaning beside a tomb on March 22, 1879 during Marchese Marcello Spinelli's excavations in the cemetery of Suessula); by 1912: with Edward Perry Warren; purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, January 2, 1913, for $18,948.70 (this figure is the total price for MFA 13.186-13.245)

    Credit Line

    Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Caskey-Beazley, Attic Vase Paintings (MFA), no. 140; Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 061.

    Dimensions

    Height: 21.5 cm (8 7/16 in.); diameter: 39 cm (15 3/8 in.); diameter of mouth: 27.8 cm (10 15/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    13.186

    Medium or Technique

    Ceramic, Red Figure

    On View

    Krupp Gallery (Gallery 215A)

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Vessels

    More Info
  • Hathor-headed crystal pendant

    Nubian
    Napatan Period, reign of Piankhy (Piye)
    743–712 B.C.

    Findspot: el-Kurru, Sudan (Nubia)

    Description

    Crystal ball amulet surmounted by gold head of Hathor crowned with disc and horns. The ball is bored vertically and has a gold disc at the base on which it stands. Probably contained substances believed to be magical. Ring at back of head. Base loose.

    Provenance

    From el-Kurru, Ku 55 (unknown queen of King Piankhy). 1919: excavated by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of Sudan. (Accession date: March 1, 1921)

    Credit Line

    Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 5.3 x 3.3 cm (2 1/16 x 1 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    21.321

    Medium or Technique

    Gold, rock crystal

    On View

    Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation Gallery (Gallery 104)

    Collections

    Jewelry, The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Jewelry / Adornment, Pendants

    More Info
  • Hermes Kriophoros (Ram-bearer)

    Greek
    Late Archaic Period
    about 500–490 B.C.

    Place of Manufacture: Sicyon (possibly), Peloponnesus, Greece

    Description

    Votive statuette of Hermes holding a ram under his left arm. He is dressed in a short belted chitoniskos, small brimmed petasus, and laced boots with wings (endromides). The god stands frontally on an oblong plinth with his left foot advanced. Originally (now lost) he held the herald’s staff (kerykeion, in Latin, caduceus) of the Olympian messenger in his right hand.

    Condition:
    Well preserved. gray Green patina.
    A hole is drilled through the right hand; the greater part of the wing on the right foot is missing. Remains of four metal tangs for attachment into another base have been filed down. E. P. Warren thought these were feet, but they seem to have been too thin for this. There are two flat plates on the hollowed out inside of the base for attaching the plinth to the feet. These have been pierced in modern times with threading in connection with the present mounting on a wooden block. Thin patina of green and brown. Attached to mount MT.71.

    Provenance

    By 1899 with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: said to come from Sparta. [Warren comments further] that it probably came from Sparta, but that it was not necessarily found there.); purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, 1899, for $ 32,500.00 (this is the total price for MFA 99.338-99.542)

    Credit Line

    Henry Lillie Pierce Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Greek, Etruscan, & Roman Bronzes (MFA), no. 023; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 118 (additional published references); Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 032.

    Dimensions

    Height: 25 cm (9 13/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    99.489

    Medium or Technique

    Bronze

    On View

    Greek Archaic Gallery (Gallery 113)

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Sculpture

    More Info
  • Oil flask (lekythos) in the form of Aphrodite

    Greek
    Late Classical Period
    mid-4th century B.C.

    Place of Manufacture: Athens, Attica, Greece

    Description

    Lekythos for oils or perfumes shaped in the form of Aphrodite rising from an open shell, with two Erotes hovering above. Figures painted in white; inside of the shell is pink; six rosettes of yellow and gold set about the vessel; traces of pigment (yellow, blue, gold?) found on figures.

    Provenance

    By about 1898: with E. Geladakis (found in excavations which he made at Eretria); purchased from E. Geladakis as a gift of Mrs. S. T. Morse, for $500, October 1900

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by Mrs. Samuel Torrey Morse

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 087.

    Dimensions

    Height: 19 cm (7 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    00.629

    Medium or Technique

    Ceramic, Figural

    On View

    Greek Archaic Gallery (Gallery 113)

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Vessels

    More Info
  • Statue of Osiris (feet and base)

    Egyptian
    Late Period, Dynasty 26
    664–525 B.C.

    Findspot: Egypt, Giza

    Description

    Osiris, god of the dead, stands mummiform, arms folded right over left, with wedge-formed feet. Head and hands emerge from a shroud so smoothly contoured to the shape of the body that details such as arms, elbows, and kneecaps emerge from the plain undifferentiated surface as islands of relief, while the crook and flail appear less as accessories than as organic outgrowths of the underlying form. The base and back pillar are inscribed with mortuary texts on behalf of the “king’s acquaintance” Ptahirdis, whose father’s name was Wepwawetem-
    saf and whose mother’s name was Merptahites.

    The statue has the oldest modern history in the Egyptian collection. The upper part (from the knees up) was excavated in 1928 by the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition in the shaft of Giza tomb 7792, east of the Great Pyramid. The lower part (base and ankles) was discovered 130 years earlier. It was brought to France by General Jean Lannes (later marshal of France and duke of Montebello), one of Napoleon’s most valiant officers, who participated in the short-lived but epoch-making Egyptian Campaign of 1798–1801, the beginning of the modern science of Egyptology.

    General Lannes by all reports was no antiquarian. The feet of Osiris passed down in his family for six generations until 1999, when Egyptologist Olivier Perdu, visiting French country house collections of antiquities, recognized it as belonging to the MFA fragment. Although it does not directly join (approximately 8 centimeters [3 inches] in the middle are restored), its size, shape, material, and above all the identical names and titles of the personages mentioned in the inscriptions leave no doubt that it belongs. Through the generosity of a friend the lower part was purchased by the Museum, and the two fragments, sundered in antiquity, are now one. The result is both a masterpiece of Late Period sculpture and a historical link with the founding moment of modern Egyptology.

    Provenance

    From Giza. 1798: found at Giza during Napoleon Bonaparte’s Egyptian campaign by General Jean Lannes, Duc de Montebello; taken to Paris following the French capitulation to the English; passed down in the owner’s family until 2000; 2000: purchased by the MFA from owner. (Accession date: October 25, 2000.)

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by Stanford Calderwood in honor of Norma Jean Calderwood, a member of the Visiting Committee of Art of the Ancient World

    Details

    Dimensions

    Height x width x depth: 20 x 15.5 x 29 cm (7 7/8 x 6 1/8 x 11 7/16 in.) - Lower Part Height: .55cm (21 5/8 in) - upper part Weight: 33.6 KG ( 74 LBS )

    Accession Number

    2000.973

    Medium or Technique

    Greywacke

    Out on Loan

    On display at Basilica Palladiana, Vicenza, December 24, 2014 – June 2, 2015

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Sculpture

    More Info
  • Taweret figurine

    Nubian
    Napatan Period, reign of Anlamani
    623–593 B.C.

    Findspot: Nubia (Sudan)

    Description

    Provenance

    From Nuri, Pyr.6 (Foundation Deposit). Excavated by the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition and assigned to the MFA by the Sudanese government.

    Credit Line

    Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition

    Details

    Dimensions

    Height x width x depth: 21.3 x 7.6 x 7.5 cm (8 3/8 x 3 x 2 15/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    25.665

    Medium or Technique

    Clay

    Not On View

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Sculpture

    More Info
  • Sarcophagus with triumph of Dionysos

    Roman
    Imperial Period
    about A.D. 215–225

    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.

    Inscription

    An inscription along the lower edge reads, "Marcus Vibius Agesilaus Junior made it (i.e. set up this monument?) for Marcus Liberalis, the son of Marcus, the Praetor, his tutor" or "who brought him up."

    Provenance

    By date unknown: collection of an international banker in northwest Europe; by 1972: with Miss Jeannette Brun, Dufourstrasse 119, Zurich 8008, Switzerland; purchased by MFA from Miss Jeannette Brun, June 7, 1972

    Credit Line

    William Francis Warden Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 244; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 113 (additional published references); Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 108-109.

    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.)

    Accession Number

    1972.650

    Medium or Technique

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

    On View

    Classical Roman Gallery (Gallery 213)

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Sculpture

    More Info
  • Offering table

    Nubian
    Meroitic Period, reign of Teqerideamani
    A.D. 90–114

    Object Place: Nubia, Sudan

    Description

    Rectangular with spout. Bordering Meroitic inscription. In field crude relief scene: Nephthys and Anubis pouring libations on a table. (tomb of King Teqerideamani).

    Provenance

    From Meroe, Pyr. Beg. N 28. 1923: excavated by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of Sudan.

    Credit Line

    Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 38.5 x 8 x 49 cm (15 3/16 x 3 1/8 x 19 5/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    23.872

    Medium or Technique

    Sandstone

    Not On View

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Religious and cult objects

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  • Venus and Cupid

    about 1779
    John Singleton Copley (American, 1738–1815)

    Description

    Provenance

    About 1779, the artist; 1815, by descent to his son, Lord Lyndhurst (1772-1863), London; March 5, 1864, Lyndhurst Sale, Christie's, London, lot 59, to Martha Babcock Amory (1812-1880), Boston, granddaughter of the artist; 1880, by descent to her daughter, Susan Greene Amory (Mrs. F. Gordon) Dexter (1840-1925), Boston; 1925, bequest of Susan Greene Dexter to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 24, 1925)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Susan Greene Dexter in memory of Charles and Martha Babcock Amory

    Details

    Dimensions

    63.5 x 51.12 cm (25 x 20 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    25.94

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas mounted on fiberboard

    On View

    Liberty Mutual Gallery (Gallery 136)

    Collections

    Americas

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    Paintings

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  • Fisherman and the Genie

    about 1863
    Elihu Vedder (American, 1836–1923)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: Vedder

    Provenance

    The artist; to Martin Brimmer, Boston, 1861; to Mrs. Martin Brimmer, 1896; to MFA, 1906, gift of Mrs. Martin Brimmer.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Mrs. Martin Brimmer

    Details

    Dimensions

    19.37 x 35.24 cm (7 5/8 x 13 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    06.2431

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Head of Aphrodite ("The Bartlett Head" )

    Greek
    Late Classical or Early Hellenistic Period
    about 330–300 B.C.

    Place of Manufacture: Athens, Attica, Greece

    Description

    So-called Bartlett Head of Aphrodite, associated with the style of Praxiteles. Important and rare original example of late Classical or early Hellenistic sculpture. Neck is worked for insertion into a full length statue, now lost. Well preserved except for a small break at the tip of the nose.

    Provenance

    By date unknown: Found in Athens; formerly in the possession of the late Mr. Pallis (according to L. D. Caskey, Catalogue of Greek and Roman Sculpture, no. 28); by 1903: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: Found opposite the Monasteri Rwy station, Athens); purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, March 24, 1903

    Credit Line

    Francis Bartlett Donation of 1900

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 055; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 108 (additional published references); Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 086.

    Dimensions

    Head without socle: 28.8 x 18.1 x 24.8 cm (11 5/16 x 7 1/8 x 9 3/4 in.) Head on socle: 42 cm (16 9/16 in) Historic socle: 13.8 x 13.8 cm (5 7/16 x 5 7/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    03.743

    Medium or Technique

    Parian marble

    On View

    Greek & Roman Sculpture Gallery (Gallery 211)

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Sculpture

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  • Herakles

    Greco-Roman

    Description

    The nose, the chin, and parts of the lips (?) have been restored in plaster. An outer piece of the left ear is restored in marble. The surfaces have acquired a rich yellow patina, partly cleaned particularly around the eyes.
    Herakles wears a crown or rolled fillet, tied with ribbons, in his curly hair. There are “traces of yellow-red color on the eyes and hair.”

    Scientific Analysis:
    Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.108 / delta18O -1.617, Attribution - Carrara, Justification (Petrographic Analysis) - maximum grain size (0.9, 0.7 mm), Mg present.

    Provenance

    1888: purchased by R. Lanciani from Augusto Valenzi (origin said to be Rome); purchased by MFA from R. Lanciani, 1888, for $491.89 (this is the total purchase price for MFA 88.346–530)

    Credit Line

    Everett Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 162.

    Dimensions

    44.5 cm (17 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    88.350

    Medium or Technique

    Marble from Carrara in northwest Italy

    Not On View

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    The Ancient World

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    Sculpture

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  • Herakles

    Roman
    Imperial Period
    about 30 B.C.–A.D. 70

    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.

    Provenance

    According to a letter from Edward Perry Warren, dated Nov. 10, 1895: The Hercules was found near Norcia in Umbria in 1872 or earlier in the ruins of a little round building. At the same time were found some scores of bronze statuettes of Hercules, probably ex-votos, roughly executed to be sold cheap. It seems therefore that the round building was a temple of Hercules.; by 1892: in the possession of Martinetti in Rome (according to a letter from Warren, dated Dec. 26, 1892); by late 1894: purchased by Edward Perry Warren; 1895: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 29,857.37 (this figure is the total price for MFA 95.9-95.174)

    Credit Line

    Catharine Page Perkins Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Greek, Etruscan, & Roman Bronzes (MFA), no. 106; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 120 (additional published references); Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 036-037.

    Dimensions

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

    Accession Number

    95.76

    Medium or Technique

    Bronze

    On View

    Classical Roman Gallery (Gallery 213)

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    The Ancient World

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    Sculpture

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  • Nine dragons

    Chinese
    Southern Song dynasty
    dated 1244
    Chen Rong (Chinese, first half of the 13th century)

    Description

    Provenance

    17th century, Geng Zhaozhong (b. 1640 - d. 1686), Shandong, China. 18th century, Emperor Qianlong (b. 1711 - d. 1799), Qing Dynasty; to Emperor Jiaqing (b. 1760 - d. 1820), Qing Dynasty; probably given by one of the later Qing emperors to Yixin, Prince Gong (b. 1833 - d. 1898) [see note 1]. 1917, Yamanaka and Co., New York; sold by Yamanaka to the MFA for $25,000. (Accession Date: June 14, 1917) NOTES: [1] See Zhang Hongxing, "The Nineteenth-Century Provenance of the Admonitions Scroll: A Hypothesis," in Gu Kaizhi and the Admonitions Scroll, ed. S. McCausland (London, 2003), p. 278.

    Credit Line

    Francis Gardner Curtis Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    T. WU, Tales from the Land of Dragons, 1997, Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, pp. 197-201

    Dimensions

    Overall: 46.8 x 1496.5 cm (18 7/16 x 589 3/16 in.) Image: 46.2 x 958.4 cm (18 3/16 x 377 5/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1697

    Medium or Technique

    Ink and color on paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Asia

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    Paintings

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  • Head of Aphrodite

    Roman
    Imperial Period, Antonine
    about A.D. 138–192

    Description

    Broken at base of neck. Upper part of skull missing by an oblique break from just above the forehead to below the crown on the back. Nose somewhat damaged. Hairstyle is a complexity of looped and dangling strands with some of the hair combed backward to a loose bun below her headband and some strands pulled up at the front, probably to be tied into a bowknot on top of her head. In addition, two long locks of hair fall down onto her shoulders.

    Scientific Analysis:

    Harvard Lab No. HI713: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.43 / delta18O -4.99, Attribution - Pentelikon, Justification - Fine grained marble.

    Provenance

    By 1901: with Edward Perry Warren; purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren in December 1901 with funds provided by Clement S. Houghton

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by Mr. Clement S. Houghton

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 159; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 111 (additional published references).

    Dimensions

    Other (Head only): 21 x 18 x 23 cm (8 1/4 x 7 1/16 x 9 1/16 in.) Other (Head on historic socle): 32 x 18 x 23 cm (12 5/8 x 7 1/16 x 9 1/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    01.8200

    Medium or Technique

    Marble from Mt. Pentelikon near Athens; top of the head made in separate piece of marble

    Not On View

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  • Mixing bowl (calyx-krater)

    Italic, Latin, Faliscan
    Classical Period
    about 380–360 B.C.
    The Nazzano Painter

    Description

    ITALIAN VASE PAINTING in ITALY, #166 (1970.487)
    Calyx-Krater
    Faliscan
    Attributed to the Nazzano Painter (Cahn)
    about 380-360 B.C.
    Side A: Telephos and the infant Orestes. Telephos, the wounded Mysian king, is seated on the altar in the palace at Mycenae with a dagger in his left hand and the infant Orestes in the other. The child is represented with white skin and wearing a wreath. He stretches out his arms imploringly toward his father, Agamemnon, and another man, perhaps Menelaos or Odysseus or the seer Kalchas. Agamemnon rushes toward the altar, his long scepter in his right hand, but is restrained by the second man. The king wears a sleeved tunic, a long chiton, and a himation that trails from his left arm. His garments are richly embroidered with stars, wave-pattern, palmettes, and egg-pattern. The same is true of the chitons of Telephos and “Kalchas,” both of whom also carry himatia and wear embades. At the right, the nurse, raising her arms in panic, has dropped a basket, possibly the baby’s cradle. At her right stands the mantled Clytemnestra, pouring a libation with a phiale in her lowered right hand. Like the nurse, she wears bracelets and a richly embroidered chiton and himation but has the latter pulled over her head. Both women have white skin, as do all the females in the scene except Athena.

    In the upper tier, the gods look down on those earthly events; from left to right are Athena, Iris, Apollo, Artemis, Zeus, and Hermes. At either end of the row of gods, above each handle, is a nude, white-skinned Eros. The one at the left places his left hand on Athena’s white, foreshortened shield, and with his right offers the goddess a phiale full of offerings, including two pomegranates. The other Eros stands with his body partly turned to the left, his wings spread out on either side behind him. In his left hand he holds a metal jug, and with his right he reaches toward the tympanum next to Hermes’ left leg. He wears nothing but shoes and a bracelet; his counterpart on the other side wears shoes, anklets, a bandoleer, and a wreath. Athena is seated with her legs to the right but looks back at the fruit offered by the Eros. Her right hand touches her shield, and the left holds her short spear in a vertical position. Her helmet has a long white crest, and her scaly aegis has a white-faced gorgoneion in the center. She wears bracelets, shoes, a necklace of white beads, and a richly embroidered peplos. To the right of Athena, Iris runs to the right toward the central group of Apollo and Artemis. Iris wears a short, embroidered chiton, embades, and bracelets. Her hair is tied in back with a white fillet, and there is a fillet of white beads round her head. She holds her caduceus in her outstretched left hand. Although Apollo is seated with his legs toward Iris, he does not see her approaching, having turned his head to the right to converse with Artemis. The god is seated on his cloak and holds a garlanded laurel branch in his left arm. He wears a wreath of laurel and two crossed bandoleers of white beads. Artemis stands facing Apollo, her bow in her upraised left hand and her right arm across her chest. She wears the same boots, chiton, bracelets, and fillets as Iris and also has a cloak over her left arm. Behind her, at the right, Zeus is seated with his legs to the right but looks back toward Artemis. His right hand is raised in front of his chest, and with his left arm he cradles his striped scepter. There is a wreath in his hair, and his cloak has fallen around his waist. To the right of Zeus, the nude Hermes stands with his right foot resting on an unseen support. He wears boots, a petasos, and a cloak pinned at the throat and holds his caduceus in his right hand. The garments of all the figures are richly embroidered, like those worn by actors.

    B: Dionysos and Ariadne stand between two capering satyrs. The god moves to the left atop a low, viny hummock while looking back at his white-skinned consort, who rests one foot upon a low altar. He is nude except for a wreath and the bordered cloak around his shoulders. Ariadne wears an embroidered chiton with a wave-pattern border as well as bracelets, earrings, a necklace, and a white fillet. Both carry thyrsoi in their left hands, and Dionysos also holds his kantharos in his right hand. A fillet trails from his thyrsos. The satyr at the left wears crossed bandoleers of white beads, and the one at the right holds a metal jug in his right hand. Both wear white wreaths. A variety of disks, rosettes, ivy leaves, and phialai float through the field as filling ornaments.

    Bands of dotted egg-pattern circle the rim and also frame the enclosed, upright palmettes in the handle-zone of the cul. A wreath of laurel and berries circles the vase below the overhanging rim.

    The Nazzano Painter is one of the most clearly defined artistic personalities in Faliscan vase-painting. His robust and somewhat rough, angular style is closely related to that of Athenian artists of the beginning of the fourth century like the Meleager Painter or the Oinomaos Painter. He frequently made use of their two-tiered compositions and ornate draperies, and the elaboration and richness of his work compare favorably with that of many of his Athenian predecessors and contemporaries. His mythological narratives often have an amusing quality because of their energy and vividly concrete detail. Some of his compositions, like this one, are relatively well ordered, while others, which may be later, are almost chaotic. Given that the only two Etruscan vase-painters known have Greek names - Praxias and Sokra(tes), both working in added red - it is possible that the Nazzano Painter too was a Greek, presumably an Athenian.

    Cahn (in Art of Ancient Italy, New York, April 4-29, 1970, pp. 32-33, no. 45), followed by Trendall and Webster (Illustrations, p. 104), connected the scene on this vase with the Telephos of Euripides. Keuls (in Festschrift Cambitoglou, pp. 87-94) has developed the Euripidean connections of this and other representations of the Telephos story even further; she points out that Clytemnestra is introduced into the story only by Euripides, who evidently felt the need for dramatic male-female interaction. Neither Clytemnestra nor other females participate in earlier representations of the story. Nonetheless, there is no need to assume a direct theatrical influence. Although Euripides was popular among South Italian Greeks, there is little evidence that he or his fellow playwrights were much performed in Etruria, let alone Falerii. The elaborate costumes are like those worn by actors, but this detail, like the basic conception of the subject and the composition, could have been transmitted from Attica via the channel of vase-painting. A good parallel for both subject and composition is provided by Berlin 3974, a roughly contemporary Attic calyx-krater (Bauchhenss-Thüriedl, Der Mythos von Telephos [Beiträge der Archäologie 3, 1971], pp. 26-28, pl. 2; De Puma, RM 87, 1980, pp. 17-18, pl. 5, 2; J. Boardman, Athenian Red Figure Vases: The Classical Period: A Handbook [London, 1989], fig. 357).

    As Richard De Puma has pointed out, the inhabitants of west-central Italy had a special reason to be interested in Telephos; he was regarded as the ancestor of the Etruscans, at least by the Greeks. The connection emerges in the obscure poem Alexandra, written by Lycophron in the third century B.C. Telephos was the father of Tarchon (of Tarquinia) and Tyrsenos (who provided the Greek name for the Etruscans, Tyrsenoi). The literary tradition can probably be traced back to the early third century. Lycophron’s verses in the Alexandra touching on this subject are thought to be derived from a long history by Timaeus of Tauromenium (Alexandra 1245-1259; in Callimachus…Lycophron…Aratus…[Loeb edition], p. 422; J. W. Salomonson, OudMed 38 [1957], pp. 29-30; R. D. De Puma, RM 87 [1980], p. 15). In Roman Imperial times, the tradition was modified slightly, and Telephos became the ancestor of the Latins. Telephos nursed by the hind was often paired with representations of Romulus and Remus and the wolf (Salomonson, OudMed 38 [1957], pp. 20-44; L. de Lachenal in A. Giuliano, ed., Museo Nazionale Romano: Le Sculture, I, 5 [Rome 1983], pp. 1-2, no. 1). This and the other Etruscan vases with Telephos collected by De Puma may provide the earliest evidence for this legend’s taking root in central Italy itself.

    Provenance

    By 1970: with Andre Emmerich Gallery Inc., 41 East 57th Street, New York 10022 (Art of Ancient Italy, New York, April 4-29, 1970, no. 45); purchased by MFA from Andre Emmerich Gallery, Inc., November 10, 1970

    Credit Line

    John H. and Ernestine A. Payne Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Vase-Painting in Italy (MFA), no. 166.

    Dimensions

    Height: 49.1 cm (19 5/16 in.); diameter: 53.7 cm (21 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1970.487

    Medium or Technique

    Ceramic, Red Figure

    Not On View

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    The Ancient World

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    Vessels

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  • Head of Aphrodite

    Greek or Roman
    Late Hellenistic or Early Imperial Period
    about 1st century B.C.

    Description

    Head turned slightly to her left with hair secured by a ribbon, below which it was pulled back to a loose knot at the nape of her neck. Surface rough with corrosion. The top of the head was made separately; eyes originally made of another material.

    Scientific Analysis:
    Marble has been scientifically tested with X-Ray Fluorescence and determined to be Calcitic.
    Harvard Lab No. HI236: Isotope ratios - delta13C +1.93 / delta18O -1.05, Attribution - Probably Paros 2, Justification - Coarse grained marble.

    Provenance

    By 1764: collection of Henry Temple, Second Viscount Palmerston (1739-1802), of Broadlands, Hampshire (purchased in Italy); date unknown: collection of Lord Ronald Gower; by date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren; purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, October 1896

    Credit Line

    Catharine Page Perkins Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 158; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 111 (additional published references).

    Dimensions

    Height x length (of face): 37 x 22 cm (14 9/16 x 8 11/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    96.694

    Medium or Technique

    Marble probably from the Greek island of Paros

    Not On View

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  • Two-handled jar (amphora) with Herakles

    Greek
    Archaic Period
    about 520 B.C.
    the Antimenes Painter

    Place of Manufacture: Athens, Attica, Greece

    Description

    Side A: Herakles killing the Nemean lion, flanked by Iolaos and Athena.
    Side B: Herakles grasping right hand of Athena, flanked by Iolaos and Hermes. A large piece in B restored.

    Provenance

    By date unknown: Mrs. Abbott Lawrence Collection; 1897: gift to MFA of Mrs. Abbott Lawrence in the name of J. W. Paige

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. Abbott Lawrence in the name of J. W. Paige

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    CVA Boston 1, pl. 41.

    Dimensions

    Height: 40.8 cm (16 1/16 in.); diameter: 27.5 cm (10 13/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    97.205

    Medium or Technique

    Ceramic, Black Figure

    On View

    Michael C. Ruettgers Gallery of Ancient Coins (Gallery 212C)

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    The Ancient World

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    Vessels

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  • Figurine of Herakles shooting his bow

    Greek
    Archaic Period
    about 550 B.C.

    Description

    Ornament from the rim of a vessel (?); the place of attachment on the left side shows that the figure was to be seen in profile to the right and was applied to a curved surface. Herakles is in the archaic running, kneeling posture. The hero is bearded and wears a tight-fitting cloth cap (or his hair in a rolled fillet) and a small cuirass with cloth belt around the waist. His lion’s skin is worn as a tunic under the cuirass, the animal’s head coming down on the right thigh and the paws on the left. Right arm and hand, and part of bow-string missing. Dark greenish brown patina.

    Provenance

    By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to his records: purchased from Rhousopoulos who said it came from Macedonia from near Amphipolis); 1898: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 69,618.13 (this figure is the total price for MFA 98.641-98.940)

    Credit Line

    Henry Lillie Pierce Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Greek, Etruscan, & Roman Bronzes (MFA), no. 021; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 118 (additional published references).

    Dimensions

    Height x length (at bottom): 7 x 6.3 cm (2 3/4 x 2 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    98.657

    Medium or Technique

    Bronze

    Not On View

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    The Ancient World

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    Sculpture

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  • Head of Polyphemos

    Greek or Roman
    Hellenistic or Imperial Period
    about 150 B.C. or later

    Description

    This head comes from a group, probably of the blinding of Polyphemos, similar to that constructed from fragments found in the grotto at Sperlonga, along the Italian coast southwest of Rome. Polyphemos is based, in details of hair and beard, on a Pergamene centaur. The sculptor was wise in rejecting the older tradition, one seen in Hellenistic terracottas, of showing the monstrous giant as a kind of fat-faced baboon, with large ears and his eye set like a beacon light in the middle of his forehead. Here the rugged, animal power of the creature has been stressed.
    Broken off through the neck and the lower whiskers, the head is in relatively excellent condition, save for the damage to the beard below the mouth. The marble has a yellow-buff tone.

    This is the head of the one-eyed, man-eating Cyclops whom Odysseus finally outwitted and blinded. Here the monster is in a peaceful mood, either waiting to receive the cup of wine offered him by Odysseus, or, more likely, gazing love-struck at the indifferent sea nymph Galatea. The head comes from a sculptural group that might have adorned a public fountain or a luxurious seaside villa. The type originated in the second century B.C., yet the lively and direct style of this piece makes difficult to judge whether it is a contemporary variant or a Roman copy.

    Scientific Analysis:
    Marble has been scientifically tested with X-Ray Diffraction and determined to be Dolomitic.
    Harvard Lab No. HI363: Isotope ratios - delta13C +3.85 / delta18O -3.03, Attribution - Thasos-Cape Vathy, Justification - Dolomitic by XRD.

    Provenance

    By date unknown: R. L. Ashman Collection; by 1957: with Hesperia Art, 2219 St. James Place, Philadelphia 3, Pa.; purchased by MFA from Hesperia Art, February 13, 1963.

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated in honor of Edward W. Forbes

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 105; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 109 (additional published references); Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 068-069.

    Dimensions

    Height: 38.3 cm (15 1/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    63.120

    Medium or Technique

    Marble, Dolomitic from the Greek island of Thasos

    On View

    Krupp Gallery (Gallery 215A)

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    The Ancient World

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  • Hermes Kriophoros (the ram bearer)

    Greek
    Archaic Period
    about 520–510 B.C.

    Description

    Votive statuette of Hermes as bearded shepherd and guardian of the flocks. Dressed as a herdsman in a short belted tunic, brimmed hat, and low laced boots, he holds small ram safe beneath his left arm; probably held the herald’s staff (kerykeion in Greek, caduceus in Latin) in his right hand. Possibly made in Sikyonian workshop. Some details incised after casting. Greenish gray patina.

    Provenance

    By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to MFA archival card: from Arcadia); January 19, 1904: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 74,100.00 (this figure is the total price for MFA 04.6-04.37)

    Credit Line

    Henry Lillie Pierce Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Greek, Etruscan, & Roman Bronzes (MFA), no. 022; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 118 (additional published references).

    Dimensions

    Height: 16.7 cm (6 9/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    04.6

    Medium or Technique

    Bronze

    On View

    Greek Archaic Gallery (Gallery 113)

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    The Ancient World

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  • Statue of Athena Parthenos (the Virgin Goddess)

    Roman
    Imperial Period
    2nd or 3rd century A.D.

    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.

    Provenance

    By date unknown: private collection in Germany; by 1980: with ANTIKEN/H. Herzer and Co., Promenadeplatz 13, 8000 Munich 2; purchased by MFA from Heinz Herzer, April 16, 1980

    Credit Line

    Classical Department Exchange Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), no. 019; Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 040.

    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.)

    Accession Number

    1980.196

    Medium or Technique

    Marble from Mt. Pentelikon near Athens

    On View

    Classical Roman Gallery (Gallery 213)

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  • Statue of Herakles

    Roman
    Imperial Period, probably Hadrianic
    A.D. 117–138

    Place of Manufacture: Rome, Italy

    Description

    Herakles rests his right hand on one end of his club, the other end of which is supported on a small elevation beside his foot. The lion’s skin hangs over the extended left arm, and the left hand evidently held a bow. The hero’s great strength is suggested by the massive neck and swelling shoulder muscles. Hair and beard are carved in short, thick curls, and the ears show the swollen cartilage characteristic of boxer’s ears.
    Condition:
    The missing parts comprise the tip of the nose, the left forearm and hand (which were at some time refastened), and a corner of the plinth. When found, the whole surface was covered with a hard incrustation, which has been removed with care from the front by means of acid.

    Scientific Analysis:

    University of South Florida Lab No. 8463 (core/fresh marble): Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.2 / delta18O -2.8,
    University of South Florida Lab No. 8858 (weathered surface): Isotopic ratios - delta 13C -2.1/ delta 18O - 3.6

    Attribution - Göktepe 3-4, Turkey (near Aphrodisias). Justification - C and O isotopes (core/fresh marble), fine grain, pure white

    Provenance

    By date unknown: said to have been found in Rome, between the Aventine and the Tiber; by 1898: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: Purchased by Mr. Warren from Signor Marotti in 1898.); purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, August 6, 1914, for $ 12,187.35

    Credit Line

    Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 139; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 110-111 (additional published references).

    Dimensions

    Height: 57 cm (22 7/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    14.733

    Medium or Technique

    Marble from Göktepe , Turkey (near Aphrodisias)

    Not On View

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  • Mercury (Hermes)

    Roman
    Imperial Period
    A.D. 30–40

    Description

    An under life size nude; the wings in his hair, now broken off, indicate he is Mercury (Hermes), the messenger of the gods and conductor of souls to the Underworld. This work is a fleshier, Roman interpretation of the style of the Greek sculptor Polykleitos.

    It has been recently suggested that the Hermes/Mercury stood in the facade of the amphitheater of Capua, placed there during a renovation probably dating to the reign of Antoninus Pius.

    A hard, calcareous deposit partly covers the front of the body; this has been removed from the face, neck, and parts of the chest by means of acid, corroding and discoloring portions of the surface.

    Scientific Analysis:
    Harvard Lab No. HI357: Isotope ratios - delta13C +4.92 / delta18O -3.37, Attribution - Paros 1.

    Provenance

    By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to L. D. Caskey, Catalogue of Greek and Roman Sculpture: from the neighborhood of Capua); 1895: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 29,857.37 (this figure is the total price for MFA 95.9-95.174)

    Credit Line

    Catharine Page Perkins Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 145; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 111 (additional published references).

    Dimensions

    Overall: 72cm (28 3/8in.)

    Accession Number

    95.67

    Medium or Technique

    Marble (probably from the Greek island of Paros)

    On View

    Classical Roman Gallery (Gallery 213)

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    The Ancient World

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  • Head of Zeus

    Greek
    Late Classical Period
    350–340 B.C.

    Description

    This over-lifesize marble head, originally part of a seated or standing statue, likely represents a reinterpretation of the Olympian Zeus by a sculptor of a later generation. The symmetry of the hair, beard, and facial features impart a sense of tranquil gravity suited to this all-powerful divinity. Cuttings on the crown of the head suggest that a headdress, or polos, once sat on top.

    Condition: The base of the neck is worked for insertion in a statue. The greater part of the nose has been restored in plaster, after the Zeus on the Hadrianic coin of Elis. Some chips from the base of the neck in front and from the locks of hair falling behind the ears are also missing. Incrustation has been removed from the right side of the face. There are two holes for dowels in the crown. The head was made separately for insertion in a statue, which was draped. The face was turned somewhat to its own right. At the left side of the neck is a small fragment of the himation which was draped over the god’s shoulder. A depression running around the skull suggests that the marble head was encircled by a wreath made separately of bronze.

    Scientific Analysis:
    Harvard Lab No. HI255: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.63 / delta18O -5.81, Attribution - Pentelikon, Justification - Fine grained marble.

    Provenance

    By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to B. H. Hill, MFA Annual Report for 1904, p. 55, no. 5: from Mylasa in Caria); January 19, 1904: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 74,100.00 (this figure is the total price for MFA 04.6-04.37)

    Credit Line

    Henry Lillie Pierce Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 044; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 108 (additional published references); Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 030-031.

    Dimensions

    Height: 48 cm (18 7/8 in.); length (of face): 26 cm (10 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    04.12

    Medium or Technique

    Marble from Mt. Pentelikon near Athens

    Not On View

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  • Head of a goddess or queen

    Greek, Ptolemaic
    Hellenistic Period
    about 300–270 B.C.

    Description

    On iconographic grounds, this life-size female head has been considered a portrait of the Ptolemaic queen Arsinoe II (316-270 B.C.) or an image of a goddess, such as Artemis or Aphrodite. The wavy hair is parted in the center and encircled twice by a fillet (ribbon). Long, thin eyebrows frame heavy eyelids, long nose, and full lips. The eyes, now missing, would have been inserted into the hollow sockets; the lips were coated in another metal.

    Condition: Irregular break along the base of the face. Crack along the chin, which was reattached. Two cracks along the left cheek. Large gashes on the top of the head and large dent along the right side of the forehead. Green patina.

    Provenance

    By 1892: Count Michel Tyszkiewicz Collection (according to W. Frohner, La Collection Tyszkiewicz, p. 39: trouvé en Égypte); by 1896: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: Said to have been found in Egypt at Memphis.); purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, October 1896

    Credit Line

    Catharine Page Perkins Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Greek, Etruscan, & Roman Bronzes (MFA), no. 087; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 119-120 (additional published references); Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 167.

    Dimensions

    Height: 25.5 cm (10 1/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    96.712

    Medium or Technique

    Bronze

    Not On View

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    The Ancient World

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    Sculpture

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  • Mantiklos "Apollo"

    Greek
    Late Geometric or Early Orientalizing Period
    about 700–675 B.C.

    Place of Manufacture: Greece, Boiotia, Thebes

    Description

    A votive statuette of Apollo evidenced by the inscription on the front of the thighs of this standing nude male figure; inscribed in archaic Boeotian characters “Mantiklos donated me as a tithe to the far shooter, the bearer of the Silver Bow. You, Phoebus (Apollo) give something pleasing in return.” There are marks of attachment on the top of the head and a hole for attachment in the forehead. The hole in the left hand has been identified as support for a bow. It has been suggested also that the figure was a warrior, wearing a helmet and carrying a spear in the left hand and a shield on the right arm.

    Inscription

    ΜΑΝΤΙΚΛΟΣΜΑΝΕΘΕΚΕFΕΚΑΒΟΛΟΙΑΡΓΥΡΟΤΟΧΣΟΙΤΑΣΔΕΚΑΤΑΣΤΥΔΕΦΟΙΒΕΔΙΔΟΙΧΑΡΙFΕΤΤΑΝΑΜΜΟΙ

    Provenance

    According to W. Fröhner, La Collection Tyszkiewicz (1897), p. 40: found in Thebes and sent to M. Hoffmann toward the end of 1894; by 1897: Count Michel Tyszkiewicz Collection; 1898: auction of the M. Tyszkiewicz Collection, Hotel des Commissaires-Priseurs, 9 rue Drouot, Paris, June 8-10, lot 133 (trouvée à Thèbes); by 1903: with Edward Perry Warren; purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, March 1903

    Credit Line

    Francis Bartlett Donation of 1900

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Greek, Etruscan, & Roman Bronzes (MFA), no. 015; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 118 (additional published references); Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 047.

    Dimensions

    Height: 20.3 cm (8 in.)

    Accession Number

    03.997

    Medium or Technique

    Bronze

    On View

    Greek Archaic Gallery (Gallery 113)

    Collections

    The Ancient World

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  • Three-sided relief

    Greek
    Classical Period
    about 450–440 B.C.

    Description

    A three-sided relief cut from a single block. Seated on the right is Demeter with her head veiled in mourning for her daughter Persephone. Aphrodite is seated opposite consulting with her son Eros at the center who holds the scales (made from a separate piece of marble) to determine how long Persephone will stay in the Underworld.
    Short sides: a boy with a lyre; an old nurse.
    Perhaps, the relief served as an enclosure for an outdoor altar.

    “Sculpture in Stone” no. 30, pp. 20-25

    Portions of the surface have been carefully cleaned, but some incrustation remains, especially on the garment of the figure on the left wing, and marks left by the roots of plants are visible in places. The Ludovisi relief and the Warren relief show similar flaws and the same light grayish-brown patina.

    The reliefs themselves have suffered comparatively slight injuries. On the left wing the lower temination of the scroll, which in this case projected beyond the end of the slab, is lost, together with the ends of the old woman’s feet. The edges of the palmettes at the corners are broken off, and there are small breaks along the lower edges at the three sides, especially at the angles. The noses of all five figures, the toes of the winged youth, the plectron of the lyre-player, and the pegs of the lyre are damaged.

    Certain other changes were produced, partly by accident and partly by design, in Roman times, when the relief was removed from its original position. As on the Ludovisi relief, marks made by crowbars, used to pry the monument from its pedestal, are visible at several places along the bottom, on both the outer and the inner faces. On the left wing an irregular groove runs across the bottom surface close to the corner, and continues obliquely upward across the face of the relief.

    Scientific Analysis:
    Marble has been scientifically tested with X-Ray Diffraction and determined to be Dolomitic.
    Harvard Lab No. HI090: Isotope ratios - delta13C +3.48 / delta18O -3.06, Attribution - Thasos-Cape Vathy, Justification - Dolomitic by XRD.

    Provenance

    1894: Found in Rome in a private villa on via Boncampagni in the same region as the Ludovisi relief, in the area of the ancient Gardens of Sallust (the Ludovisi Quarter) on the Pincian Hill; acquired successively by Valenzi, Jandolo, Martinetti, and Hartwig before being purchased by Edward Perry Warren in 1896; purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, May 5, 1908, for $ 3,600.00

    Credit Line

    Henry Lillie Pierce Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 030; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 107 (additional published references); Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 088-089.

    Dimensions

    Overall: 82 x 161 cm (32 5/16 x 63 3/8 in.) Framed (Rolling steel pedestal/ removable top steel pallet): 100.3 x 186.7 x 95.3 cm (39 1/2 x 73 1/2 x 37 1/2 in.) Weight: 1587.59 kg (3500 lb.)

    Accession Number

    08.205

    Medium or Technique

    Marble, Dolomitic from the Greek island of Thasos

    On View

    Greek Late Classical and Hellenistic Gallery (Gallery 212A)

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    The Ancient World

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    Architectural elements

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  • The Temptation and Fall of Eve (Illustration to Milton's "Paradise Lost")

    1808
    William Blake (English, 1757–1827)

    Description

    Provenance

    Thomas Butts (1757-1845), England; Thomas Butts, Jr., sold 29 June 1853, Foster's (in 139 with No. 536 4, 9, 11, and 12) £17.66 bt. J.C. Strange; B. Quartich, Boston offered catalogue 350 10 August 1883, May 1887, etc. (in 13842 with 32 others; see No. 84) £1,200; acquired 29 April 1890

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Butlin 536 (9)

    Dimensions

    49.7 x 38.7 cm (19 9/16 x 15 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    90.99

    Medium or Technique

    Pen and watercolor on paper

    Not On View

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    Europe, Prints and Drawings

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    Watercolors

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  • The Expulsion from Eden (Illustration to Milton's "Paradise Lost")

    1808
    William Blake (English, 1757–1827)

    Description

    Provenance

    Thomas Butts (1757-1845), England; Thomas Butts, Jr., sold 29 June 1853, Foster's (in 139 with No. 536 4, 9, 11, and 12) £17.66 bt. J.C. Strange; B. Quartich, Boston offered catalogue 350 10 August 1883, May 1887, etc. (in 13842 with 32 others; see No. 84) £1,200; acquired 29 April 1890

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Butlin 536(12)

    Dimensions

    50 x 38.7 cm (19 11/16 x 15 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    90.100

    Medium or Technique

    Pen and watercolor on paper

    Not On View

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  • Michael Foretelling the Crucifixion to Adam (Illustration to Milton's "Paradise Lost")

    1808
    William Blake (English, 1757–1827)

    Description

    Provenance

    Thomas Butts (1757-1845), England; Thomas Butts, Jr., sold 29 June 1853, Foster's (in 139 with No. 536 4, 9, 11, and 12) £17.66 bt. J.C. Strange; B. Quaritch, Boston, offered catalogue 350 10 August 1883, May 1887, etc. (in 13842 with 32 others; see No. 84) £1,200; acquired 29 April 1890

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Butlin 536 (II)

    Dimensions

    50.16 x 38.1 cm (19 3/4 x 15 in.)

    Accession Number

    90.101

    Medium or Technique

    Pen and watercolor on paper

    Not On View

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  • The Casting of the Rebel Angels into Hell (Illustration to Milton's "Paradise Lost")

    1808
    William Blake (English, 1757–1827)

    Description

    Provenance

    Thomas Butts (1757-1845), England; Thomas Butts, Jr., sold 29 June 1853, Foster's (in 139 with No. 536 4, 9, 11, and 12) £17.66 bt. J.C. Strange; B. Quartich, Boston offered catalogue 350 10 August 1883, May 1887, etc. (in 13842 with 32 others; see No. 84) £1,200; purchased 29 April 1890

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Butlin 536 (7)

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 49.6 x 39.3 cm (19 1/2 x 15 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    90.98

    Medium or Technique

    Pen and watercolor on paper

    Not On View

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  • The Archangel Raphael with Adam and Eve (Illustration to Milton's "Paradise Lost")

    1808
    William Blake (English, 1757–1827)

    Description

    Inscription

    Signed lower right: W Blake 1808

    Provenance

    Thomas Butts (1757-1845), England; Thomas Butts, Jr., sold 29 June 1853, Foster's (in 139 with No. 536 4, 9, 11, and 12) £17.66 bt. J.C. Strange; B. Quartich, Boston, offered catalogue 350 10 August 1883, May 1887, etc. (in 13842 with 32 others; see No. 84) £1,200; acquired 29 April 1890

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Butlin 536(6)

    Dimensions

    49.8 x 39.8 cm (19 5/8 x 15 11/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    90.97

    Medium or Technique

    Pen and watercolor on paper

    Not On View

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  • Christ Accepting the Office of Redeemer (Illustration to Milton's "Paradise Lost")

    1808
    William Blake (English, 1757–1827)

    Description

    Inscription

    Signed lower right: W Blake 1808

    Provenance

    Thomas Butts (1757-1845), England; Thomas Butts, Jr., sold 29 June 1853, Foster's (in 139 with No. 536 4, 9, 11, and 12) £17.66; purchased by J.C. Strange; B. Quaritch, Boston [offered catalogue 350 10 August 1883, May 1887, etc. (in 13842 with 32 others; see No. 84) £1,200]; purchased 29 April, 1890

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Butlin 536(3)

    Dimensions

    49.6 x 39.3 cm (19 1/2 x 15 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    90.94

    Medium or Technique

    Pen and watercolor on paper

    Not On View

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  • The Creation of Eve (Illustration to Milton's "Paradise Lost")

    1808
    William Blake (English, 1757–1827)

    Description

    Inscription

    Signed lower right: W Blake 1808

    Provenance

    Thomas Butts (1757-1845), England; Thomas Butts, Jr. sold 29 June 1853, Foster's (in 139 with No. 536 4, 9, 11, and 12) £17.66 bt. J.C. Strange; Quartich, offered catalogue 350 10 August 1883, May 1887, etc. (in 13842 with 32 others; see No. 84) £1,200, sold to MFA, Boston

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Butlin 536(8)

    Dimensions

    50.3 x 40 cm (19 13/16 x 15 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    90.95

    Medium or Technique

    Pen and watercolor on paper

    Not On View

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  • Satan Watching the Caresses of Adam and Eve (Illustration to Milton's "Paradise Lost")

    1808
    William Blake (English, 1757–1827)

    Description

    Inscription

    Signed lower right: W Blake 1808

    Provenance

    Thomas Butts (1757-1845), England; Thomas Butts, Jr., sold 29 June 1853, Foster's (in 139 with No. 536 4, 9, 11, and 12) £17.66 bt. J.C. Strange; B. Quaritch, Boston offered catalogue 350 10 August 1883, May 1887, etc. (in 13842 with 32 others; see No. 84) £1,200; purchased 29 April, 1890

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Butlin 536(4)

    Dimensions

    50.5 x 38 cm (19 7/8 x 14 15/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    90.96

    Medium or Technique

    Pen and watercolor on paper

    Not On View

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  • Adam and Eve Sleeping (Illustration to Milton's "Paradise Lost")

    1808
    William Blake (English, 1757–1827)

    Description

    Provenance

    Thomas Butts (1757-1845), England; Thomas Butts, Jr., sold 29 June 1853, Foster's (in 139 with No. 536 4, 9, 11, and 12) £17.66 bt. J.C. Strange; B. Quaritch, Boston, offered catalogue 350 10 August 1883, May 1887, etc. (in 13842 with 32 others; see No. 84) £1,200; acquired 29 April 1890

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Butlin 536(5)

    Dimensions

    49.2 x 38.7 cm (19 3/8 x 15 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    90.102

    Medium or Technique

    Pen and watercolor on paper

    Not On View

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  • Lucifer and the Pope in Hell (The King of Babylon)

    about 1805
    William Blake (English, 1757–1827)

    Description

    Provenance

    Thomas Butts (1757-1845), England, sold 29 June, 1853, no. 122, Foster's; C. J. Strange; B. Quaritch, Boston; acquired 29 April 1890

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Butlin 467

    Dimensions

    36 x 31.5 cm (14 3/16 x 12 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    90.103

    Medium or Technique

    Pen and watercolor on paper

    Not On View

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  • The Whirlwind: Ezekiel's Vision of the Cherubim and Eyed Wheels (Illustration to the Old Testament, Ezekiel I 4–28)

    about 1803–05
    William Blake (English, 1757–1827)

    Description

    Provenance

    Thomas Butts (1757-1845), England; sold 29 June, 1853, no. 125, Foster's; C.J. Strange; B. Quaritch, Boston; acquired 29 April 1890

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Butlin 468

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 39.4 x 29.5 cm (15 1/2 x 11 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    90.108

    Medium or Technique

    Pen and watercolor over graphite on paper

    Not On View

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  • Goliath Cursing David (I Samuel XVII, 43–44)

    about 1803–05
    William Blake (English, 1757–1827)

    Description

    Provenance

    Thomas Butts (1757-1845), England, sold Foster's, 29 June, 1853, no. 123; C.J. Strange;B. Quaritch, Boston; acquired 29 April, 1890

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Butlin 457

    Dimensions

    34.9 x 36.8 cm (13 3/4 x 14 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    90.109

    Medium or Technique

    Pen and watercolor on paper

    Not On View

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  • Abraham Preparing to Sacrifice Isaac (Genesis, XXII, 9–12)

    about 1783
    William Blake (English, 1757–1827)

    Description

    Provenance

    Thomas Butts (1757-1845), England, sold Foster's, June 29, 1853, no. 102; C.J. Strange; B. Quaritch, Boston; acquired 29 April 1890

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Butlin 109

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 19.5 x 24.2 cm (7 11/16 x 9 1/2 in. )

    Accession Number

    90.111

    Medium or Technique

    Pen, ink and watercolor on paper

    Not On View

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  • Moses Erecting the Brazen Serpent (Numbers XXI, 9)

    about 1800–03
    William Blake (English, 1757–1827)

    Description

    Provenance

    Thomas Butts (1757-1845), England; sold 29 June, 1853, no. 120, Foster's; C.J. Strange; B. Quaritch, Boston; purchased 29 April, 1890.

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Butlin 447

    Dimensions

    34 x 32.5 cm (13 3/8 x 12 13/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    90.107

    Medium or Technique

    Pen and watercolor on paper

    Not On View

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  • Pestilence: Death of the First Born

    about 1805
    William Blake (English, 1757–1827)

    Description

    Provenance

    Thomas Butts (1757-1845), England; sold 29 June, 1853, no. 119, Foster's; C.J. Strange; B. Quaritch, Boston; acquired 29 April 1890

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Butlin 442

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 30.4 x 34.2 cm (11 15/16 x 13 7/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    90.106

    Medium or Technique

    Pen and watercolor over graphite pencil on paper

    Not On View

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    Watercolors

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  • Famine

    1805
    William Blake (English, 1757–1827)

    Description

    Provenance

    Thomas Butts (1757-1845), England; sold 29 June, 1853, no. 101, Foster's; C.J. Strange; B. Quaritch, Boston; acquired 29 April, 1890

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Butlin 196

    Dimensions

    29.5 x 38.9 cm (11 5/8 x 15 5/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    90.104

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor over graphite pencil on paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

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  • Plague

    about 1805
    William Blake (English, 1757–1827)

    Description

    Provenance

    Thomas Butts (1757-1845), England; sold 29 June, 1853, no. 131, Foster's; C.J. Strange; B. Quaritch, Boston; acquired 29 April, 1890

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Butlin 193

    Dimensions

    30.2 x 43 cm (11 7/8 x 16 15/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    90.105

    Medium or Technique

    Pen and watercolor over graphite pencil on paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

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  • Virgin and Child

    Sassoferrato (Giovanni Battista Salvi) (Italian (Roman), 1609–1685)

    Description

    Provenance

    By 1964, Louis Agassiz Shaw, Boston, MA [see note 1]; 1991, gift of Louis Agassiz Shaw. (Accession Date: November 20, 1991) NOTES: [1] From April 1964 until 1991, this painting was on loan from Louis Agassiz Shaw to the MFA (Loan Number T.L. 12,310).

    Credit Line

    Gift of Louis Agassiz Shaw

    Details

    Dimensions

    48.3 x 38.7 cm (19 x 15 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    1991.693

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas mounted on Masonite

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe

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    Paintings

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  • Phineas and the Sons of Boreas

    about 1695
    Sebastiano Ricci (Italian (Venetian), 1659–1734)

    Description

    Ricci’s paintings are representative of the transition from the 17th-century’s emotionally affective, dramatic style to the more playful approach of the early 18th century. This work depicts an episode from the ancient Greek poem The Argonautica, in which the banished King Phineas is rescued from the punishing harpies. Though Ricci is primarily known for decorating walls with large canvases or frescoes, this picture demonstrates his facility for creating light, elegant paintings in rich hues and small formats.

    Provenance

    1980, private collection, Great Britain; 1980, sold from this private collection to Matthiesen Fine Art, Ltd., London [see note 1]; 1980, sold by Matthiesen to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 18, 1980) NOTES: [1] According to correspondence from Patrick Matthiesen (November 4, 2002), this painting was imported to Great Britain by a private client in January 1980, at which time it was consigned for sale.

    Credit Line

    Charles Potter Kling Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    83.2 x 100.3 cm (32 3/4 x 39 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    1980.275

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Angelica Lloyd Russell Gallery (Gallery 142)

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Coronation of the Virgin

    Master of Bonastre (Spanish (Valencian), active in mid-15th century)

    Description

    Provenance

    By 1910, Denman Waldo Ross, Cambridge, Ma; 1910, gift of Ross to the MFA [see note 1]. (Accession date: March 3, 1910) Notes: [1] Work of art was accessioned as a piece by Borrassa.

    Credit Line

    Denman Waldo Ross Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    134.6 x 107.3 cm (53 x 42 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    10.36

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

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    Europe

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  • Crucified Christ with the Virgin and Saint John the Evangelist

    Naddo Ceccarelli (Italian (Sienese), active in 1330s–early 1360s)

    Description

    Provenance

    By 1829, Annibale Francesco Clemente Melchiore Girolamo Nicola della Genga (b. 1760 - d. 1829), Pope Leo XII, Rome; by descent from Genga to the Contessa Pucci; by 1909, passed from Pucci to Mariano Rocchi, Rome [see note 1]. About 1909-1915, Prince Golinicheff Koutousoff, Russia [see note 2]. By 1915, F. Kleinberger Galleries, New York; 1916, sold by Kleinberger to Edward Jackson Holmes (b. 1873 - d. 1950) and Mrs. F. Scott Fitz (b. 1847 - d. 1929), Boston; 1916, gift of Mrs. F. Scott Fitz (b. 1847 - d. 1929) to the MFA [see note 3]. (Accession Date: June 1, 1916) NOTES: [1] According to a letter from Valerio Mariano, secretary, R. Istituto di Archeologia e Storia dell'Arte, Rome to the Assistant Curator of Paintings, MFA (July 3, 1939), this information was provided by Mariano Rocchi. [2] A note in the curatorial file states that on September 25, 1916, Frank Jewett Mather visited the MFA and said that the painting had been in the collection of Prince Golinicheff Koutousoff of Russia and was brought to the United States by Nicolas Riabouchinsky. A sale of the Golinicheff Koutousoff and Riabouchinsky collections was held at the American Art Association, New York, April 26, 1916, but this painting was not included in this sale. [3] The painting was accessioned as a work of art by Lippo Memmi.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. W. Scott Fitz

    Details

    Dimensions

    21.9 x 15.2 cm (8 5/8 x 6 in.)

    Accession Number

    16.117

    Medium or Technique

    Tempera on panel

    Not On View

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    Europe

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  • Christ as the Man of Sorrows

    about 1470
    Unidentified artist, Alsatian, 2nd half 15th century (Alsatian)

    Description

    This painting embodies the entirety of Christ’s suffering in a single, solemn image. In the universal gesture of sorrow – holding his head in his hands – Christ sits among the instruments used to torture and kill him. Such emotionally charged imagery was particularly common in Germany during the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. In an act of devotion, private contemplation of these subjects allowed viewers to identify with Christ’s suffering.

    Provenance

    1946, in Amsterdam [see note 1]. By 1953, Alfred Weinberger (dealer), Paris [see note 2]; 1956, sold by Weinberger, through Kleinberger and Co., New York, to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 12, 1956) NOTES: [1] This picture was examined by Max Friedländer in Amsterdam on May 17, 1946, according to photo-documentation from the Kleinberger files at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In whose possession it was at this time is not known. On the reverse of the panel is an export stamp from Amsterdam, as well as similar stamps from Munich and Paris. [2] This is according to a statement of January 14, 1955 by Hanns Swarzenski of the MFA that he first saw the panel in Weinberger's possession in Paris in October 1953. Swarzenski notes that Weinberger was a dealer in Paris who was a relative of Harry G. Sperling of Kleinberger and Co., New York.

    Credit Line

    Gift in memory of W. G. Russell Allen by his Friends

    Details

    Dimensions

    69.2 x 39.4 cm (27 1/4 x 15 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    56.262

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    On View

    William A. Coolidge Gallery (Gallery 243A)

    Collections

    Europe

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  • Saints George, Michael, and John the Baptist

    first quarter of the 16th century
    Unidentified artist, German (Upper Rhine) (German (Upper Rhine))

    Description

    Provenance

    Until 1848, Ludwig Schwanthaler (b. 1802 - d. 1848), Munich; 1848, by descent to his nephew, Rudolph Schwanthaler; September 22-24, 1879, Ludwig Schwanthaler collection sale, Morillon, Munich, lot 76 [see note 1]. 1907, purchased on the art market, Munich, by Edward W. Forbes; 1907, gift of Edward W. Forbes to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 8, 1907) NOTES: [1] On the provenance of this panel see Jeanne Peipers, "Le peintre du maître-autel de Lautenbach, l'atelier de Durer et l'art du Rhin Supérieur" (Frankfurt, 1996), pp. 321-325. It was the reverse of the left wing of a now dismantled altarpiece. The reverse of the right wing, depicting Saints Dorothy, Apollonia, and Agatha, was also owned by Ludwig Schwanthaler and was lot 77 in the auction of 1879. It was offered for sale from the collection of Karl, Count of Maldeghem, by Christie's, Amsterdam, March 24, 1999, lot 107.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Edward Waldo Forbes

    Details

    Dimensions

    184.2 x 123.2 cm (72 1/2 x 48 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    07.485

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

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    Europe

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  • The Lamentation (Christ at the Tomb)

    1848
    Eugène Delacroix (French, 1798–1863)

    Description

    The desolation of the mourners gathered around the body of Christ is intensified by the somber landscape, with three crosses dimly visible in the background. Christ’s stark white burial shroud and Saint John’s scarlet cloak glow against the dark background, lending force and focus to the scene. The emotional intensity, expressive brushwork, and resonant color of Delacroix’s work had a profound influence on later painters. Some years after this picture was painted, the artist observed: “The details are, generally speaking, mediocre and scarcely bear close inspection. On the other hand, the whole arouses an emotion that astonishes even me.”

    Inscription

    Signed and dated: Eug. Delacroix 1848

    Provenance

    By April 28, 1847, sold by the artist to Comte Théodore de Geloës, Château d'Osen, Limburg, Holland; 1870, sold by de Geloës to Jean-Baptiste Faure, Paris; June 7, 1873, sold by Jean-Baptiste Faure at Hotel Druout, Paris [no. 7], and purchased by Durand-Ruel, Paris. By 1878, Hector Brame, Paris. April 29, 1880, sold by Baron Étienne Martin de Beurnonville at Hotel Drouot, Paris [no. 11], and purchased by M. Tavernier; June 11, 1894, sold by M. Tavernier at Galerie Georges Petit, Paris [no. 5], and purchased by Durand-Ruel, New York; 1896, sold by Durand-Ruel to the MFA for 1400Fr. (Accession Date: March 3,1896)

    Credit Line

    Gift by contribution in memory of Martin Brimmer

    Details

    Dimensions

    162.6 x 132.1 cm (64 x 52 in.)

    Accession Number

    96.21

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    The Beal Gallery (Gallery 251)

    Collections

    Europe

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  • Amulet of Hathor nursing a queen

    Nubian
    Napatan Period, reign of Piankhy (Piye)
    743–712 B.C.

    Findspot: el-Kurru, Nubia, Sudan

    Description

    This gilded silver amulet shows the Kushite Queen Nefrukakashta being embraced and suckled by a goddess, probably Mut, the patron goddess of the royal women of the 25th Dynasty. Nefrukakashta grasps the wrist of the hand that offers the breast, while the goddess’s other arm encircles the queen’s shoulder and rests on the queen’s breast. The goddess wears the vulture headdress and a crown consisting of a diadem with bovine horns and the solar disc. The claw of the vulture touches the queen’s uraeus, and its outstretched wing caresses that of the goddess. The goddess wears a tight sheath that reveals her slenderness, while the queen’s body expresses the curvier Kushite feminine ideal.

    Provenance

    From el-Kurru, Ku 52 (tomb of Queen Nefrukekashta). 1919: excavated by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of Sudan. (Accession date: March 1, 1919)

    Credit Line

    Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition

    Details

    Dimensions

    Height x width: 2 1/4 x 3/4 in. (5.7 x 1.9 cm)

    Accession Number

    24.928

    Medium or Technique

    Silver

    On View

    Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation Gallery (Gallery 104)

    Collections

    Jewelry, The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Jewelry / Adornment, Amulets

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  • Izanami and Izanagi Creating the Japanese Islands

    Amenonuboko o motte sokai o saguru no zu

    Japanese
    Meiji era
    mid–1880s
    Kobayashi Eitaku (Japanese, 1843–1890)

    Description

    Signed

    Signed lower right

    Markings

    Seal lower right

    Provenance

    By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850 - d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 3, 1911) NOTES: [1] Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.

    Credit Line

    William Sturgis Bigelow Collection

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    KJM2-Modern-032

    Dimensions

    Image: 126 x 54.6 cm (49 5/8 x 21 1/2 in.) Overall (Including mounting): 227 x 79 cm (89 3/8 x 31 1/8 in.) Overall (scroll box dimensions): 9 x 9 x 82 cm (3 9/16 x 3 9/16 x 32 5/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    11.7972

    Medium or Technique

    Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk

    Not On View

    Collections

    Asia

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    Paintings

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  • The Fall of Man (Small Passion)

    1510–11
    Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471–1528)

    Description

    Markings

    no visible watermark

    Provenance

    W. G. Russell Allen (1882-1955, Boston); Mrs. Lydia Evans Tunnard; her gift to MFA, January 1962.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. C. Tunnard, in memory of W. G. Russell Allen

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Bartsch (relief) 017; Meder 126, after 1511, without text, a-b

    Dimensions

    Block: 12.7 x 9.7 cm (5 x 3 13/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    61.1354

    Medium or Technique

    Woodcut

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Prints

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  • Mercury and a Sleeping Herdsman

    about 1632–33
    Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577–1640)

    Description

    Figure studies for the ceiling of the Banqueting House, Whitehall.

    Provenance

    1803, possibly François Pauwels, Brussels; August 22, 1803, possibly Pauwels sale, DeMarneffe, Brussels, lot 68, bought in; August 25, 1814, possibly Pauwels sale, Geens, Brussels, lot 15, to Léandre Dacosta for 18 fr. [see note 1]. Sedelmeyer collection, Paris [see note 2]. 1881, Étienne-Edmond Martin, Baron de Beurnonville (b. 1825 - d. 1906), Paris; May 9-16, 1881, Beurnonville sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, lot 441, to Baron d'Eder, Paris, for 2550 fr. [see note 3]. 1886, Artaria, Vienna [see note 4]. Seeger, Berlin [see note 5]. 1920, Galerie Haberstock, Berlin (stock no. 1029) [see note 6]. 1924, with Spink and Sons, London [see note 7]. 1933, art market, New York [see note 8]. 1942, Frederick Mont, New York [see note 9]. 1942, Arnold Seligmann, Rey and Co., Inc. New York [see note 10]; 1942, sold by Arnold Seligmann, Rey and Co. to the MFA for $12,500. (Accession Date: April 9, 1942) NOTES: [1] At one time this composition was painted over to depict Mercury and Argus with a cow, seen in foreshortening from the back, and a dog, sleeping at the lower left. The description of the Rubens painting in the two Pauwels sale catalogues matches the appearance of the MFA painting in its overpainted state. Its dimensions (97 x 78 cm.), however, do not. In Rubens: The Ceiling Decoration of the Banqueting Hall, Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard series, pt. 15 (London: Harvey Miller, 2005), vol. 1, cat. no. 3g, p. 181, Gregory Martin suggests that when it was in the Pauwels collection, the MFA panel was enlarged to allow for a mountainous landscape; this would account for the discrepancy in dimensions. Martin further suggests that the "additions may have been executed for the most part on paper laid down on panel," which would explain an annotation found next to the lot description in the 1814 sale catalogue: "faux et peint sur papier". If the MFA composition was enlarged, such additions were removed by 1881, when the painting was in the Beurnonville sale and its dimensions recorded as 65 x 52 cm. [2] A wax seal on the reverse of the panel indicates that the painting was in the Sedelmeyer collection. [3] Max Rooses, "L'oeuvre de P. P. Rubens" (Antwerp, 1890), vol. 3, p. 123, gives the name of the buyer. [4] Martin 2005 (as above, n. 1). [5] Ludwig Burchard, "A Loan Exhibition of Rubens," Wildenstein, New York (exh. cat. February 20 - March 31, 1951), p. 24, cat. no. 27; Seeger's dates of ownership are not given. A customs stamp from Berlin, found on the reverse of the panel, further indicates that the painting was once in that city. [6] Julius S. Held, "The Oil Sketches of Peter Paul Rubens: A Critical Catalogue" (Princeton, 1980), vol. 1, cat. no. 139; also see Martin 2005 (as above, n. 1) for the stock number. [7] Information from a photograph on file at the Witt Library, Courtauld Institute of Art, London, which shows the painting in its overpainted state. [8] Martin 2005 (as above, n. 1). [9] Information from a photograph on file at the Witt Library, which shows the painting in its cleaned state; also see Martin 2005 (as above, n. 1), p. 183, n. 8. [10] Arnold Seligmann, Rey, and Co. provided provenance information that conflicts with the information given here. According to a letter from Paul M. Byk of Arnold Seligmann, Rey and Co. (April 21, 1942; in the MFA curatorial file), "the picture was in an American private family and ... the owner who disposed of it had inherited the picture from the parents. Thus the picture has been in America for the last forty or fifty years." In a telephone conversation recorded by William G. Constable, Curator, Department of Paintings, MFA (April 29, 1942), Byk said that he understood that the picture passed directly from Baron d'Eder into the aforementioned American private collection.

    Credit Line

    Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    63.5 x 53 cm (25 x 20 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    42.179

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    On View

    William I. Koch Gallery (Gallery 250)

    Collections

    Europe

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  • The Return of the Prodigal Son

    Peter Brandl (Bohemian, 1668–1735)

    Description

    Provenance

    Dombrovsky Collection, near Venice [see note 1]. By 1972, acquired in Italy by Dr. Kurt Rossacher (b. 1918 - d. 1988), Salzburg; 1973, sold by Rossacher to the MFA. (Accession Date: February 14, 1973) NOTES: [1] According to a letter from Dr. Rossacher (May 7, 1973; in MFA curatorial file) the painting was acquired in Italy; Dr. Rossacher was told by the (unnamed) seller of the painting that it had been in the Dombrovsky collection near Venice.

    Credit Line

    Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    123.8 x 163.9 cm (48 3/4 x 64 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    1973.89

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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    Europe

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  • The Archangel Gabriel

    After Master of the Miraculous Annunciation of Ss. Annunziata (Italian (Florentine), 1523–1588)

    Description

    After a fresco in the church SS. Annunziata, Florence

    Provenance

    By 1978, Misses Aimée and Rosamond Lamb, Boston, MA; 1978, gift of Misses Aimée and Rosamond Lamb [formerly as Nelli]. (Accession Date: January 10, 1979)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Miss Aimée and Miss Rosamond Lamb

    Details

    Dimensions

    17.78 x 12.7 cm (7 x 5 in.)

    Accession Number

    1978.685

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on copper

    Not On View

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    Europe

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  • The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine

    The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne

    about 1590
    Peter Candid (Flemish (active in Florence and Munich), about 1548–1628)

    Description

    In designing this painting, Candido drew on a tradition of adapting other artists’ compositions, basing his image on a Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine by Christoph Schwarz, his predecessor as court painter to Maximilian I in Munich.

    Provenance

    Late 19th century, given to Queen Alexandra's House, London [see note 1]; March 28, 1969, Queen Alexandra's House Association and others sale, Christie's, London, lot 55, to Edward Speelman, Ltd., London. By 1970, Christian Humann, New York [see note 2]; 1979, sold by Humann to Art Associates Partnership, Paris; 1980, sold by Art Associates Partnership to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 19, 1980) NOTES: [1] Brigitte Volk-Knüttel, "Candid nach Schwarz," Münchner Jahrbuch der bildenden Kunst 39 (1988): 129, n. 23. [2] The painting was lent anonymously to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in October, 1970, and remained there until 1979. See Volk-Knüttel (as above, n. 1). By 1978, Humann sought to sell it through Art Associates Partnership and in 1979, its ownership had been transferred to the gallery.

    Credit Line

    Henry H. and Zoe Oliver Sherman Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    226 x 159.1 cm (89 x 62 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1980.72

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    William I. Koch Gallery (Gallery 250)

    Collections

    Europe

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  • Seventh Plague of Egypt

    1823
    John Martin (English, 1789–1854)

    Description

    In the Bible, Moses calls down ten plagues before the pharaoh is persuaded to free the enslaved Israelites. This work, one of Martin’s grandest paintings, depicts the seventh: “And Moses stretched forward his rod toward heaven, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire rained down onto the earth.” Moses and his brother Aaron are at the left upon the foreground balustrade while the anguished Egyptians, including the pharaoh, cower amidst the towering buildings of Thebes. Inspired by Turner, Martin produced a series of these dramatic ancient or biblical scenes. In this case, he drew upon some of the earliest illustrated publications on Egyptian monuments to create an authentic setting.

    Inscription

    Lower left: J Martin 1823

    Provenance

    1825, sold by the artist to John George Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham (b. 1792 - d. 1840), Lambton Castle, Durham, England, for 500 gn. [see note 1]; by descent within the family to John Frederick, 5th Earl of Durham (b. 1884 - d. 1970), Lambton Castle; April 18, 1932, Earl of Durham sale, Anderson and Garland, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (sale held at Lambton Castle), lot 48, sold for £15. 1960, P. & D. Colnaghi, London; 1960, sold by Colnaghi to the MFA for £900. (Accession Date: October 13, 1960) NOTES: [1] The painting was included in the inaugural exhibition of the Society of British Artists, London, in 1824 (cat. no. 22), and was purchased by Lambton in 1825. See Thomas Balston, John Martin 1789-1854: His Life and Works (London, 1947), pp. 78-79 and Egyptomania: Egypt in Western Art, 1730-1930 (exh. cat. Paris, Ottawa and Vienna, 1994/1995), cat. no. 231, p. 372.

    Credit Line

    Francis Welch Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    144.1 x 214 cm (56 3/4 x 84 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    60.1157

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    The Beal Gallery (Gallery 251)

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    Europe

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  • Moses and the Israelites after the Miracle of Water from the Rock

    1527
    Lucas van Leyden (Netherlandish, about 1494–1533)

    Description

    On their arduous journey from slavery in Egypt, the Israelites bitterly complained of thirst. Instructed by God, Moses, their leader, struck a rock with his rod and water spilled out. In this work, the artist emphasized calm resolution by depicting the travelers after the miracle rather than during it, possibly to symbolize the Church’s deliverance of spiritual refreshment to humanity. Although a prolific printmaker, Lucas van Leyden made only about fifteen paintings. Painting with tempera on linen, as in this work, was considered a less-expensive alternative to tapestry decoration, but the medium has proven susceptible to darkening over time.

    Inscription

    lower center, on rock: 1527 / L

    Provenance

    By 1657, Borghese family, Rome [see note 1]; by descent within the family to Agnese Borghese (b. 1836 - d. 1920), Principessa di Piombino, Rome [see note 2]. 1900, with Julius Böhler, Munich. 1900, acquired on the Munich art market by the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg [see note 3]; 1954, sold by the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, through the Schaeffer Galleries, New York (stock no. 1563), to the MFA for $135,000 [see note 4]. (Accession Date: December 9, 1954) NOTES: [1] This is probably the painting by Lucas van Leyden recorded in the Borghese collection as early as 1657. See the summary of the early provenance by Elise Lawton Smith, "The Paintings of Lucas van Leyden: A New Appraisal, with Catalogue Raisonné" (University of Missouri Press, 1992), pp. 101, 302-302, cat. no. 7. [2] On its acquisition by the Principessa di Piombino in or about 1888, see Giovanni Piancastelli, in "L'Arte" 1 (1898): 219. The Principessa must have been Agnese Borghese, wife of Rodolfo, 7th Prince of Piombino (b. 1832 - d. 1911). The painting is said to have remained in the Villa Borghese until 1891 in the "Katalog der Gemälde-Sammlung des Germanischen Nationalmuseums in Nürnberg" (Nürnberg, 1909), p. 28, cat. no. 80, though when it left the possession of the family is not clear. [3] It is unclear whether it was purchased directly from Böhler. See the "Katalog der Gemälde-Sammlung" (as above, n. 2). [4] On its sale, see "Entering the Public's Domain," Art News, December 1955, p. 16.

    Credit Line

    William K. Richardson Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    181.9 x 237.5 cm (71 5/8 x 93 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    54.1432

    Medium or Technique

    Glue tempera on linen

    On View

    William A. Coolidge Gallery (Gallery 243A)

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Hercules as Heroic Virtue Overcoming Discord

    about 1632–33
    Workshop of Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577–1640)

    Description

    Study for the ceiling of the Banqueting House, Whitehall.

    Provenance

    1904, Fontaine-Flament, Lille, France; June 10, 1904, Fontaine-Flament sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, lot 47, to Charles Sedelmeyer, Paris; June 3-5, 1907, Sedelmeyer sale, Galerie Sedelmeyer, Paris, lot 42, to Giskoff [see note 1]. 1919, Marczell von Nemes, Budapest and Munich; March 19, 1919, Nemes sale, Hotel Drouot, Paris, lot 19, to François Monod (b. 1877), Paris. Dr. Fritz Rothman (b. 1893), London; by 1946, sold by Rothman to Agnew and Sons, London [see note 2]; 1947, sold by Agnew to the MFA for £2000. (Accession Date: December 11, 1947) NOTES: [1] The buyer's name is annotated in a copy of the auction catalogue. [2] According to correspondence from Agnew's to the MFA (August 31, 2004), Dr. Rothman sold the painting to the gallery. It was included in Agnew's Summer Exhibition (June, 1946), no. 18.

    Credit Line

    Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    63.8 x 48.6 cm (25 1/8 x 19 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    47.1543

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    On View

    William I. Koch Gallery (Gallery 250)

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    Europe

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  • Expulsion from Paradise

    1470s
    Benvenuto di Giovanni (Italian (Sienese), 1436–about 1518)

    Description

    Provenance

    Until 1921, Frédéric Engel-Gros, Château Ripaille, Switzerland; May 30, 1921, Engel-Gros sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, lot 2, perhaps to Mr. and Mrs. Emile Paravicini, Paris [see note 1]; December 6, 1952, Paravicini sale, Galerie Jean Charpentier, Paris, lot 2, perhaps to Alfred Scharf, London [see note 2]; 1956, sold by Scharf to the MFA for £7000. (Accession Date: October 11, 1956) NOTES: [1] While Raimond van Marle asserted that the painting had been in the collection of Richard von Kaufmann, Berlin, this has not been substantiated; see his "Development of the Italian Schools of Painting," vol. 16 (The Hague, 1937), p. 408, n. 1. In a letter from Alfred Scharf to Thomas Maytham of the MFA (October 24, 1956), he explains that "I bought the Expulsion from Paradise by Benvenuto di Giovanni from Mr. and Mrs. E. Paravicini, Paris, the son-in-law and daughter of Mr. F. Engel -Gros, in whose collection the picture was for a long time....The Paravicini have no further information about its earlier history." A price annotated in a copy of the 1921 auction catalogue suggests the painting was sold; it is not known whether it was bought in and passed by descent to Mr. and Mrs. Paravicini, or if they acquired it at the sale. [2] Scharf's letter (as above, n. 1) does not clarify whether he acquired the painting at this sale, or privately from the Paravicini. It is possible that it did not sell at the 1952 auction.

    Credit Line

    Charles Potter Kling Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    25.7 x 34.6 cm (10 1/8 x 13 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    56.512

    Medium or Technique

    Tempera on panel

    Not On View

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    Europe

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    Paintings

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  • Mixing bowl (volute krater)

    Greek, South Italian
    Late Classical Period
    about 340 B.C.
    Style resembles the Varrese Painter

    Place of Manufacture: Apulia, Italy

    Description

    Connected with the work of the Varrese Painter; it is a possible link between the works of the Gioia del Colle Painter and the Painter of Copenhagen 4223 and those of the Darius Painter.

    A: The death of Thersites. All the principal figures are labeled with incised inscriptions. Rows of white and yellow dots indicating groundlines run throughout the scene on several levels. Achilles (Greek) and the aged Phoenix (Greek) are shown at the center within the pavilion of Achilles, an airy structure with a pediment, palmette akroteria, and slender, fluted Aeolic capitals. In the center of the pediment is a slender figure with upraised arms, like the kouros-handle of a patera. The side of the pavilion’s floor is decorated with a labryinthine maeander and saltire-squares. The row of squares above the architrave resembles a Doric frieze but may represent the ends of the ceiling joists. Achilles is seated on a luxurious kline, his cloak beneath him, holding a spear in his right hand and leaning on a pile of cushions, which, like the mattress and coverlets, are elaborately embroidered. Long ringlets frame the hero’s face, drawn in three-quarter view. A sword, presumably that just used to decapitate Thersites (Greek), hangs at his side from a white baldric. Phoenix leans on his staff and holds his head in worry. His himation is pulled up over his head; his legs are crossed. The front of the couch is painted white, perhaps to indicate ivory. Its vine decoration is yellow, as is the broad footstool, decorated with egg-pattern. Two chariot wheels, a pair of greaves, a sword, a shield with a gorgoneion device, and a plumed piloshelmet, all yellow, hang from the ceiling of the pavilion. The decapitated body of Thersides, in shoes and disheveled himation, lies in front of the pavilion.

    The eyes in the liberated head are shut in death; the grizzled beard shows that Achilles has killed an older man.

    Other heroes and divinities are on either side. Agamemnon (Greek) approaches from the left, holding a scepter with an eagle finial in his right hand. He wears an embroidered, long-sleeved tunic, embades, and a swirling himation. Agamemnon is followed by the younger Phorbas (Greek), who wears embades, a chlamys, and a yellow pilos, and rests a spear on his left shoulder. To the right, Diomedes (Greek), the cousin of Thersites, wearing a chlamys and a white pilos, rushes up to avenge his kinsman. He is accompanied by an Aetolian warrior (Greek) with a spear, sword baldric, and yellow shield. Diomedes starts to draw his sword, but is restrained by Menelaos (Greek). Menelaos wears a chlamys and has a sword slung at his left side.

    In the upper tier are four figures. At the left of the pavilion are Pan (Greek) and a seated, winged figure like a Fury, labeled Poina (Vengeance). The Fury wears an embroidered chiton with a white belt, crossed bandoleers, tall boots, and a necklace. White snakes twine in her hair. Her face is in three-quarter view. In her right hand she holds a sword; in her left, a scabbard and spear. Pan is leaning against a tree, a spotted animal skin over his shoulders and a wreath on his horned head. He holds his yellow-brown pedum in his right hand. In the field above is a rosette.

    To the right of the building Athena (Greek) sits on a round, yellow shield, wearing chiton, himation, yellow shoes, and white diadem, aegis, bracelets, earrings, and necklace. In front of her, Hermes (Greek) stands with his legs crossed, wearing winged shoes, chlamys, and wreath. He carries his yellow caduceus and petasos in his left hand and a tall branch with a pendant fillet in his right. At the lower left, the helmeted Automedon, wearing a chlamys, kneels with a shield on his left arm and a spear in his right hand, as if guarding the mutilated Thersites. In the foreground and around Automedon (Greek) and the dead man are objects testifying to the violent action: a broken lustral basin, a tripod, a staff, a footbath, and a variety of metal vases, including two phialai, a kantharos, an oinochoe, and a volute-krater.
    To the right, a slave or commoner (Greek), wearing boots and a cloak over his left arm, runs off in horror. Many of the larger yellow objects, like shields are toned so that more of the white underpainting shows through at either the forward or
    upper edge to suggest the play of light.

    As told in the “Aethiopis”, Thersites was slain in a fit of temper by Achilles, for teasing him about his ill-fated love for the Amazon queen Penthesilea. The Greeks were angry and divided as a result of this brutal act, and Achilles had to sail to Lesbos and sacrifice to Apollo in order to appease his fellow leaders and warriors. The reaction of the character labeled Demos may allude to the revulsion among “hoi polloi”. The emotions aroused are well portrayed by the painter, who represented the anger of Agamemnon, the chagrin of Phoenix, the anguish of Diomedes, and the haughty nonchalance of Achilles. It is interesting that the Fury Poina, a character who turns up in several Apulian mythological scenes where bad business is at hand (cat. no. 42), has her sword drawn; in this context, she must represent the slashing vengeance of Achilles, the personification of his wrath. Trendall and Webster (“Illustrations”, pp. 106-107) suggest the scene may be based on the “Achilles Thersitoktonos” of Chaeremon, a fourth-century dramatist; this may be correct, but if so, the vase-painter has enlarged and elaborated on the stage version, with more protagonists than would be in any single scene.

    B. A young man in a chlamys and holding a spear in his left hand stands beside a horse within a white-painted naiskos with a pediment and palmette akroteria. The naiskos has an elaborately decorated plinth (maeanders, lesbian cymatium, key-pattern, scrolling rendrils). There are three figures on either side, in two registers. At left, a seated woman with a phiale is offered a wreath by a wreathed youth leaning on a staff. Below them, a woman runs to the right with a yellow “xylophone” and a basket of offerings. On the right, a wreathed youth seated on his cloak and holding a staff and phiale faces a woman with a wreath in her left hand and a branch in her right. Below them, a wreathed youth with a basket of offerings in his left hand leans on his staff. He holds a flower in his right hand and has shoes and a cloak. All three women wear shoes, chiton, kekryphalos, earrings, bracelets, and necklace. Among the offerings in the baskets are alabastra painted yellow and white. Fillets and rosettes float in the upper field.

    The similarity between the pavilion of Achilles on the obverse and the funerary naiskos on the reverse invites comparison between the dead horseman and the greatest of Greek heroes. Achilles was the very embodiment of “arete”, and that is the quality celebrated by the youth’s monument. He has joined the heroic dead and, like Odysseus, will see Achilles and the other Homeric heroes in the Underworld. For horsemen as heroes, and demigods, seee A. Cermanovic-Kuzmanovic et. al., “LIMC”, VI, 1, pp. 1019-1081, especially p. 1025; VI, 2, pls. 673-719.

    On the obverse neck, in three-quarter view to the left, is the quadriga of Helios, surrounded by a white, yellow, and red nimbus. The god holds a whip in his right hand and is dressed in a long chiton. His presence is an appropriate symbol of renewal and re-birth on a funerary vase; if he is to be associated with the scene below, it may mean that the action there takes place in the morning, with the first rays of the sun revealing the body of the murdered man.

    On the reverse neck, Eros is seated on a flower, wearing bracelets, shoes, anklets, necklace, and sakkos; he holds a phiale in his left hand. Elaborate floral ornament and scrolling tendrils, high lighted with added white and yellow, surround both Helios and Eros. The composition with Eros recalls similar scenes on vases of the Alabastra Group and others associated with it; see “RVAp”, II, pls. 232 (5 and 8) and 233 (1-3). For the floral ornament, see the comments on cat. no. 21.

    There are two registers of elaborate palmettes under the handles. The latter have plastic female masks on the volutes and black swan’s heads on the shoulders. Springs of white laurel decorate the obverse handle flanges. A wreath of grape leaves and clusters runs around the foot.

    Above both pictures is a double band of egg-pattern. A band consisting of groups of stopt maeanders to left alternating with cross-squares circles the lower body. A band of egg-pattern circles the lip. Below the obverse lip are an ivy vine, a yellow bead-and-reel molding, and a laurel wreath with a central rosette. Below the reverse lip are a laurel wreath, a row of dots, and a band of rosettes.

    Excerpted from Padgett, ITALIAN VASE PAINTING in ITALY, #38

    Provenance

    By date unknown: said to be from Ceglie del Campo near Bari; by 1903: with Edward Perry Warren; purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, March 24, 1903

    Credit Line

    Francis Bartlett Donation of 1900

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Vase-Painting in Italy (MFA), no. 038.

    Dimensions

    Height: 124.6 cm (49 1/16 in.); diameter: 56 cm (22 1/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    03.804

    Medium or Technique

    Ceramic, Red Figure

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, The Ancient World

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    Vessels

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  • Relief of Akhenaten as a sphinx

    Egyptian
    New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, reign of Akhenaten
    1349–1336 B.C.

    Description

    Although Akhenaten’s religious reforms purged Egyptian art of many of its most familiar manifestations, the king remained fond of the sphinx and often had himself depicted as that fantastic creature - part man, part lion. In Old Kingdom times, the Great Sphinx at Giza probably stood for the king presenting offerings to the sun god, while in the Eighteenth Dynasty the mighty monument was reinterpreted as the sun god Horemakhet, or Horus in the Horizon. Its impeccable solar credentials therefore made the sphinx an appropriate image for Akhenaten at el-Amarna, the city he called Akhetaten, “Horizon of the Sun Disk.”

    This relief was one of a pair flanking a temple doorway. The sphinx on it rests on a plinth, suggesting that it represents a statue. A pair of such reliefs flanking the doorway of a small temple would have evoked the grand avenues of sphinxes that traditionally led up to the entrance pylons of larger Egyptian sanctuaries. Here the sphinx is equipped with human arms and hands to enable him to make offerings to his god, the sun disk, Aten, who appears at the upper left. He wears the uraeus of kingship while behind him (to the left) are two cartouches containing his lengthy official name. The sun’s life-giving rays end in so many hands, some holding ankh-signs. Below are three offering stands. To the right, Akhenaten as sphinx raises one hand in adoration while in the other he holds a neb sign, a basket signifying lordship, holding Aten’s cartouches. These same cartouches appear a third time in the upper right where they are joined with the cartouches of Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti, who is thus present in name if not in image. The rest of the inscription describes the “great, living Aten” as “dwelling in the Sunshade temple [called] Creator of the Horizon [which is] in Akhetaten.” The temple named here, yet to be located, must be the one for which this block was carved.

    Akhenaten’s religious revolution was accompanied by a change in the way pharaoh was depicted, showing a marked departure from the idealized images favored by his predecessors. Even though the king’s face has been sadly hacked away, one can still discern his characteristic slanted eyes, long nose,hollow cheeks, drooping lower lip, and pendulous chin.

    Provenance

    Probably from el-Amarna. By 1964: with Ernst E. Kofler, Lucerne, Switzerland; October 4, 1964: purchased by the MFA from Ernst E. Kofler. (Accession Date: October 14, 1964)

    Credit Line

    Egyptian Curator's Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Height x width x depth: 51 x 105.5 x 5.2 cm (20 1/16 x 41 9/16 x 2 1/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    64.1944

    Medium or Technique

    Limestone

    On View

    Egyptian New Kingdom Gallery (Gallery 210)

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Architectural elements, Relief

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  • Mixing bowl (bell krater)

    Greek
    Early Classical Period
    about 470 B.C.
    the Pan Painter

    Place of Manufacture: Athens, Attica, Greece

    Description

    Two sided red-figure bell krater used for mixing wine and water.
    Side A: Artemis shooting an arrow at Aktaion who has fallen to the ground attacked by his hunting dogs. Aktaion was a hunter, and the goddess of the hunt killed him by turning him into a stag, so that his own dogs tore him to pieces. This elegant rendering of the myth, with Artemis drawing her bow for the coup de grace, and the helpless hero sinking beneath the onslaught of the hounds, is considered one of the greatest of all Athenian vase paintings.

    Side B: The artist is named the Pan Painter after this scene of the goat-god Pan chasing a young shepherd wearing a fawn-skin (nebris), and a rustic sun hat. The god of flocks obviously has love on his mind, perhaps inspired by the ithyphallic herm standing on a hill in the background. Herms were stone or wooden shafts with the head of the god Hermes, rudimentary arms, and a large carved phallos. Apart from their religious significance, which is poorly understood, they often served to mark boundaries and the intersections of roads. The rustic setting of this herm relates it to Priapos, or some other god of fertility.

    Pan is not represented in Athenian art until after the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C., when he was said to have caused a “panic” in the Persian ranks. When one remembers that, like the Persians, Aktaion was punished for his pride, and that his death occurred on the slopes of Mt. Kithairon, the site of the Persian defeat at Plataia, the entire vase becomes a symbol and a memorial of triumph of Athens over Persians.

    Condition: Broken and repaired.

    Provenance

    By 1910: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: bought in Sicily; said to be from Cumae); purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, June 2, 1910, for $4,000.00 (this figure is the total price for MFA 10.159-10.230)

    Credit Line

    Julia Bradford Huntington James Fund and Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Caskey-Beazley, Attic Vase Paintings (MFA), no. 094; Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 034.

    Dimensions

    Height: 37 cm (14 9/16 in.); diameter: 42.5 cm (16 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    10.185

    Medium or Technique

    Ceramic, Red Figure

    On View

    Greek Archaic Gallery (Gallery 113)

    Collections

    The Ancient World

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    Vessels

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  • Shiva

    Indian
    Chola period
    late 10th century A.D.

    Object Place: Tamilnadu, Southern India

    Description

    Provenance

    1942, gift of Mrs. John D. (Abby Aldrich) Rockefeller (b. 1874 - d. 1948), New York, to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 12, 1942)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 161.9 x 74 x 53.2cm (63 3/4 x 29 1/8 x 20 15/16in.) Mount (Rolling steel pedestal / 5/8" wooden skirts): 41.9 x 96.5 x 81.3 cm (16 1/2 x 38 x 32 in.)

    Accession Number

    42.120

    Medium or Technique

    Granulite, green schist

    On View

    Southeast Asian Art Gallery (Gallery 176)

    Collections

    Asia

    Classifications

    Sculpture

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  • The Dead Christ with Angels

    about 1524–27
    Rosso Fiorentino (Giovanni Battista di Jacopo) (Italian (Florentine), 1494–1540)

    Description

    Rosso Fiorentino was one of the primary practitioners of the highly refined and decorative sixteenth-century style now known as Mannerism. It is characterized by strong, unusual colors; crowded or ambiguous space; and elongated, often twisting figures. Rosso painted this altarpiece in Rome for his friend Leonardo Tornabuoni, the bishop of Borgo San Sepolcro. Rosso’s admiration of Michelangelo’s recently painted frescoes on the Sistine Ceiling is reflected in the muscular nude body of Christ. One of very few surviving works by this exceptional artist, the painting is also unusually well preserved.

    Inscription

    Lower right, on bench: R U B E VS FLO F A CIEB A T

    Provenance

    About 1524/1527, commissioned by Bishop Leonardo di Lorenzo Tornabuoni (b. about 1494 - d. 1540), Rome; 1527, still in the artist's possession [see note 1]. By 1550, Giovanni della Casa (b. 1503 - d. 1556); until at least 1568, by descent within the Della Casa family [see note 2]. About 1812/1819, acquired in Italy by Charles IV, King of Spain (b. 1748 - d. 1819), Rome; 1820, sent to Spain [see note 3] and passed by inheritance to his son, Infante Francisco de Paula (b. 1794 - d. 1865), Madrid; probably by descent to his daughter, Infanta Maria Cristina (b. 1833 - d. 1902) and her husband, Infante Sebastián Gabriel Borbón y Braganza (b. 1811 - d. 1875), Pau, France and Madrid [see note 5]; 1837, confiscated from Braganza by Isabella II, Queen of Spain (b. 1830 - d. 1904) [see note 6]; by 1868, returned by the Queen of Spain to Sebastián Gabriel Borbón y Braganza [see note 7]; 1875, by inheritance to his widow, Infanta Maria Cristina de Borbón y Braganza (b. 1833 - d. 1902), Madrid; October, 1902, posthumous Borbón y Braganza sale, JPGM, Madrid, lot 44, not sold; until 1958, by descent within the family to Infante Don Enrique Bourbón, Madrid. 1958, Rudolf J. Heinemann (dealer, b. 1902 - d. 1975), New York; 1958, sold by Heinemann to the MFA for $85,000. (Accession Date: June 5, 1958) NOTES: [1] According to Giorgio Vasari, Rosso executed a Dead Christ with Angels for his friend, Leonardo Tornabuoni, who was the bishop of Borgo San Sepolcro ("In questo tempo fece al Vescovo Tornabuoni amico suo un quadro d'un Cristo Morto, sostenuto da due Angeli"; see "Le vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori ed architettori," ed. Gaetano Milanesi [Florence: Sansoni, 1880], vol. 5, p. 162). It was probably intended for an altar in San Sepolcro, but was never installed; instead, it remained in the artist's possession. In September 1527, it was in the custody of a nun at the convent of San Lorenzo in Panisperna, Rome. As attested in a document of September 29, 1527, the artist, at that time in San Sepolcro, attempted to recuperate the panel -- described as a Pietà with the figure of Christ surrounded by angels -- and other of his possessions from the nun; with all probability this can be identified with the MFA painting. It is possible that Rosso had left his belongings with her just prior to the sack of Rome in May, 1527. Whether the panel was returned to Rosso is unknown, but it seems unlikely, since it was in Rome by 1550 and had, therefore, probably remained there (see below, n. 2). See David Franklin, "Rosso in Italy: The Italian Career of Rosso Fiorentino" (New Haven, 1994), 139-142; the 1527 document is transcribed on p. 309. [2] In the first edition of Vasari's "Vite de' più eccellenti pittori..." (1550), the painting is said to be owned by Giovanni della Casa ("oggi è appresso Monsignor della Casa"). The second edition (1568) states that it is with his heirs ("oggi è appresso agli eredi di monsignor Della Casa"). [3] The identification of the MFA painting with the Dead Christ by Rosso Fiorentino listed in Charles IV's posthumous inventory was made by Gabriele Finaldi, "Works by Alessandro Turchi for Spain and an unexpected Velázquez connection," Burlington Magazine 149 (November, 2007): 758, n. 57. [4] Arturo Perera, "Carlos IV, 'Mecenas' y coleccionista de obras de arte," Arte Español 1958, pp. 28, 30. [5] In 1835, it was listed in his inventory, "Galería de Pinturas del Serenísimo Señor Ynfante Don Sebastian Gabriel," 1835, no. 181 (attributed to Fosquini). Archivo de Palacio, Sección Histórica, caja 123, as cited by Mercedes Agueda, "La colleción e pinturas del infante Don Sebastián Gabriel," Boletín del Museo del Prado, III, 8 (1982), p. 113. [6] In 1837, Sebastián Gabriel Maria de Borbón y Braganza's possessions were confiscated for political reasons and the paintings were exhibited in the Museo de la Trinidad. [7] The painting was returned to Braganza when he recognized Isabella II as the Queen of Spain.

    Credit Line

    Charles Potter Kling Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    133.4 x 104.1 cm (52 1/2 x 41 in.)

    Accession Number

    58.527

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    On View

    Museum Council Gallery (Gallery 254)

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Panels

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  • Amphora

    Greek
    Archaic Period
    about 520 B.C.

    Place of Manufacture: Athens, Attica, Greece

    Description

    Side A: Herakles wrestling with Triton, in presence of Nereus.
    Side B: Dionysus with satyrs and maenads.

    Credit Line

    Gift of H. P. Kidder

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    CVA Boston 1, pl. 40.

    Dimensions

    38.7 cm (15 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    80.621

    Medium or Technique

    Ceramic, Black Figure

    Not On View

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Vessels

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  • Mixing bowl (calyx krater) with the killing of Agamemnon

    Greek
    Early Classical Period
    about 460 B.C.
    the Dokimasia Painter

    Place of Manufacture: Athens, Attica, Greece

    Description

    Both sides of this vase illustrate tragic scenes from the story of King Agamemnon’s return to Mycenae after the fall of Troy.

    While Agamemnon was away at war, his wife Klytemnestra took as her lover Agamemnon’s cousin Aegisthos. On the king’s return home, Aegisthos and Klytemnestra plotted to kill Agamemnon. In one scene, Aegisthos gets ready to plunge a sword into Agamemnon, wet from the bath and trapped in a net. Klytemnestra carries an ax to assist her lover. Three other women witness the horrific crime. These women are perhaps Chrysothemis and Elektra, Agamemnon’s younger and older daughters, and Kassandra, his slave.

    Following the first brutal murder, the honorable children of Klytemnestra and Agamemnon avenged the death of their father. Orestes, whipped to action by his sister Elektra, enters the palace to kill Aegisthos who was seated playing the lyre (barbitos). Elektra stands to the right encouraging her brother’s actions, while her mother Klytemnestra rushes in with a double axe aimed at her son’s head.

    The Aeolic columns under the handles suggest the palace of Agamemnon and Klytemnestra at Mycenae.

    Provenance

    By 1958: with Robert E. Hecht, Jr.; purchased by MFA from Robert E. Hecht, Jr., September 18, 1963

    Credit Line

    William Francis Warden Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 066.

    Dimensions

    Height: 51 cm (20 1/16 in.); diameter: 51 cm (20 1/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    63.1246

    Medium or Technique

    Ceramic, Red Figure

    Not On View

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Vessels

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  • Shiva as Gajahamurti

    Indian
    18th century

    Object Place: India

    Description

    Credit Line

    Marshall H. Gould Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Legacy dimension: H: 0.890 m W: 0.513 m

    Accession Number

    57.6

    Medium or Technique

    Bronze, sculpture

    Not On View

    Collections

    Asia

    Classifications

    Sculpture

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  • Durga as Mahishasuramardini (the Slayer of the Buffalo Demon)

    Indian, Southern
    early Chola period
    970–1070

    Object Place: Tamil Nadu, India

    Description

    Provenance

    1927, gift of Denman Waldo Ross (b. 1853 - d. 1935), Cambridge, MA, to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 3, 1927)

    Credit Line

    Denman Waldo Ross Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 150 x 61 x 45.7 cm (59 1/16 x 24 x 18 in.) Mount (Steel round rod armature support / two welded plates): 121.9 x 2.5 cm (48 x 1 in.) Case (Wooden pedestal opening in back access for armature): 99.1 x 83.8 x 53.3 cm (39 x 33 x 21 in.) Weight: 367.41 kg (810 lb.)

    Accession Number

    27.171

    Medium or Technique

    Green schist

    On View

    Southeast Asian Art Gallery (Gallery 176)

    Collections

    Asia

    Classifications

    Sculpture

    More Info
  • Water jar (hydria) with the chariot of Achilles dragging the corpse of Hektor

    Greek
    Archaic Period
    about 520–510 B.C.
    the Antiope Group

    Place of Manufacture: Athens, Attica, Greece

    Description

    A hydria with the dramatic scene of Achilles dragging the body of Hector behind his chariot; to the left Priam and Hecuba, parents of Hector, mourn him in the Trojan palace as Achilles with round shield stares at them; to the right, the tomb of Patroklos with his soul charging out from it; snake in front. Winged figure of Iris sent to plead for a ransom of Hector’s body. Greek inscriptions of the name ‘Hector’ (HECTOR) above the body of Hector, and ‘Patroklos’ (PATROKLOS) on the tomb.

    On the shoulder: Two quadrigae, one driven by Athena. Herakles pursues Kyknos while Ares rushes from left.

    Inscription

    ΕΚΤΡΩΡ ΠΑΤΡΟΚΛΩ

    Provenance

    1963, sold by Robert E. Hecht, Jr., New York, to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 8, 1963) NOTE: According to Hecht, he purchased the hydria in Zürich in 1959 from Dr. Hadzi Imam Bailde of Makri (modern-day Fethiye), Turkey, who had owned it for at least twenty-five years.

    Credit Line

    William Francis Warden Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    CVA Boston 2, pl. 082; Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 064.

    Dimensions

    Height (to mouth): 50 cm (19 11/16 in.); diameter (of mouth): 26.1 cm (10 1/4 in.) Height (to handle - tallest point): 56.5 cm (22 1/4 in.) Width (including handles): 38.5 cm

    Accession Number

    63.473

    Medium or Technique

    Ceramic, Black Figure

    On View

    Krupp Gallery (Gallery 215A)

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Vessels

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  • Mixing bowl (calyx krater) with scenes from the fall of Troy

    Greek
    Early Classical Period
    about 470–460 B.C.
    the Altamura Painter

    Place of Manufacture: Athens, Attica, Greece

    Description

    Ilioupersis (Sack of Troy)

    Side A: Cassandra at the Palladion, an attendant hastening with a box to the left. Cassandra is being menaced by Ajax the Less. To the right, Neoptolemos prepares to hurl Astyanax (son of Hector) from the walls of Troy. Priam is seated on the altar. At the extreme right, two warriors fighting or quarreling.
    Side B: Aeneas carrying his aged father Anchises from Troy. Creusa follows behind and a warrior leads the way. He may be Ascanius or Hermes in the guise of Aeneas’s son.

    Provenance

    By date unknown: with Münzen und Medaillen A.G., Malzgasse 25, Basel, Switzerland; purchased by MFA from Münzen und Medaillen A.G., February 12, 1959, for $ 19,000.00

    Credit Line

    William Francis Warden Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Caskey-Beazley, Attic Vase Paintings (MFA), no. 159; Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 065.

    Dimensions

    Height: 48 cm (18 7/8 in.); diameter: 49 cm (19 5/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    59.178

    Medium or Technique

    Ceramic, Red Figure

    On View

    Krupp Gallery (Gallery 215A)

    Collections

    The Ancient World

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    Vessels

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  • Torso of a fertility goddess (yakshi), from the Great Stupa at Sanchi

    Indian
    Sunga period
    25 B.C.–A.D. 25

    Object Place: Madhya Pradesh, Central India

    Description

    Provenance

    From the Great Stupa at Sánchi, India [see note 1]. Mid-nineteenth century, probably removed from Sánchi and taken to England [see note 2]. By 1929, Edward Goldston, London. 1929, Denman Waldo Ross (b. 1853 - d. 1935), Cambridge, MA; 1929, gift of Ross to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 1, 1929) NOTES: [1] According to Alexander Cunningham, this comes from the Western Gate. See his Bhilsa Topes; or, Buddhist Monuments of Central India (London, 1854), pl. XIV. [2] See A[nanda] K[entish] C[oomaraswamy], in the MFA Bulletin 28 (February, 1930), p. 18.

    Credit Line

    Denman Waldo Ross Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 72.1 x 35.6 x 22.9 cm (28 3/8 x 14 x 9 in.) Weight: 58.97 kg (130 lb.) Mount (Steel armature support scecured into the pedestal): 3.8 x 2.5 cm (1 1/2 x 1 in.) Case (Reinforced wooden pedestal): 121.9 x 45.7 x 45.7 cm (48 x 18 x 18 in.)

    Accession Number

    29.999

    Medium or Technique

    Sandstone

    Not On View

    Collections

    Asia

    Classifications

    Sculpture

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  • Architrave relief from the Temple of Athena at Assos with a scene of Herakles and Centaurs

    Greek, East Greek
    Archaic Period
    about 540–525 B.C.

    Findspot: Anatolia (Turkey), Troad, Assos (Behramkale), Foundations of the rampart at southwest angle

    Description

    The taenia and regula (without guttae) of a Doric architrave are at the top of the block, a similar taenia at the bottom, and a narrower, raised band at the right end. Within this frame appears the adventure of Herakles with the centaurs of Mount Pholoë. The upper part of the centaur Pholos, the host of Herakles, is preserved at the left end. He is bearded, nude, and has human forelegs. He holds a large wine cup in his right hand, and lifts his left in a gesture of astonishment.

    In front of him Herakles, beardless and nude, stands in profile to the right, bending forward, with his left leg advanced. He is drawing his bow, while before him three centaurs flee rapidly to the right. All three are bearded and have human forelegs. The first and third look back as they run, and carry what appear to be clubs, one in his right, the other in his left hand. The centaur in the middle is without a weapon, stretching out one arm in front and one behind him. The lower parts of all three centaurs are exactly alike; the left foreleg is advanced and the equine hind legs are placed side by side. The hind legs of two of the centaurs overlap the thigh of the following figure.

    Broken in two, the relief is incomplete and broken irregularly, at the left end; the upper right-hand corner has been broken off. The surfaces are worn, both chipped and weathered. The surfaces are now a crusty brown.

    Provenance

    From the temple of Athena at Assos (Behramkale, Turkey); foundations of the rampart at the southwest angle of the citadel. 1881: excavated by the Archaeological Institute of America; gift of the Archaeological Institute of America to MFA, January 1884.

    Credit Line

    Gift of the Archaeological Institute of America

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 019; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 106 (additional published references); Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 038-039.

    Dimensions

    Height: 82 cm (32 5/16 in.); width: 248 cm (97 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    84.67

    Medium or Technique

    Trachyte

    On View

    Evanthea and Leo Condakes Gallery (Gallery 113A)

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Architectural elements

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  • Bodhisattva Maitreya

    Gandharan
    Kushan period
    3rd century C.E.

    Object Place: Gandhara, Northwestern Pakistan

    Description

    Provenance

    1937, sold by Ram Dass and Co., Rawalpindi, India, to the MFA for $515. (Accession Date: January 14, 1937)

    Credit Line

    Helen and Alice Colburn Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 109.5 x 38.1 x 22.9 cm, 89.4 kg (43 1/8 x 15 x 9 in., 197.09 lb.) Mount (Vertical steel tube support with a welded steel plate): 98.4 x 10.2 x 7.6 cm (38 3/4 x 4 x 3 in.) Case (Reinforced wooden pedestal / side access opening 12" x 10"): 76.2 x 45.7 x 38.1 cm (30 x 18 x 15 in.)

    Accession Number

    37.99

    Medium or Technique

    Gray schist

    Not On View

    Collections

    Asia

    Classifications

    Sculpture

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  • Two-handled jar (amphora)

    Greek
    Archaic Period
    about 540 B.C.
    the BMN (British Museum Nikosthenes) Painter

    Description

    Side A: Theseus killing the Minotaur.
    Theseus holds the Minotaur by the horn with his left hand and drives his sword into his rib cage with the right. The Minotaur sinks on his right knee, holding a stone in his upraised left hand. Behind Theseus stands a youth holding a spear. Behind the Minotaur stand a girl and a youth.
    Side B: The Dioskouroi riding into Olympus.
    They ride to left, each holding a spear. An eagle flies to left behind them. Poseidon holding his trident stands in front of the horses. Behind the horses come an old man holding a stick (Tyndareos?) and a boy carrying a wreath.
    Lid: pomegranate knob and patterns.

    Provenance

    By date unknown: with Hesperia Art, 2219 St. James Place, Philadelphia 3, Pa.; January 14, 1960: purchased by MFA from Hesperia Art for $ 4,000.00

    Credit Line

    Otis Norcross Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    CVA Boston 1, pl. 07-08.

    Dimensions

    Height: 39.2 cm (15 7/16 in.); diameter: 22.5 cm (8 7/8 in.) diameter (lid) 7.2 cm.

    Accession Number

    60.1

    Medium or Technique

    Ceramic, Black Figure

    Not On View

    Collections

    The Ancient World

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    Vessels

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  • Hydria

    Italian imitation of Greek
    Modern, imitating works of the Archaic Period
    Shortly before A.D. 1889, imitating a work of about 530–520 B.C.

    Description

    On shoulder the battle of Theseus and the Minotaur: eight figures.
    Principal design Herakles mounting a quadriga. Athena stands in the chariot. Six other figures, including Apollo, who plays the lyre. Below, two lions and two fawns, alternating. Painted over.

    Provenance

    By 1888: with Cesare Cappelli (said to come from Ruvo); purchased by R. Lanciani from Cesare Cappelli; purchased by MFA from R. Lanciani, 1889, for $235.51 (the total price for MFA 89.561 and 89.562)

    Credit Line

    Everett Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    CVA Boston 2, pl. 075.

    Dimensions

    Height: 43.7 cm (17 3/16 in.); diameter: 32 cm (12 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    89.562

    Medium or Technique

    Ceramic, imitation black figure

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Vessels

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  • Jar (pelike) with Odysseus and Elpenor in the Underworld

    Greek
    Classical Period
    about 440 B.C.
    the Lykaon Painter

    Place of Manufacture: Athens, Attica, Greece

    Description

    Odysseus, having slain two rams, seated on a rock conversing with the shade of Elpenor. Hermes stands at the right.
    Reverse: Poseidon pursuing Amymone.

    [Label text]:
    Homer tells us in the Odyssey about Odysseus’ journey to the underworld to learn how to return to his homeland of Ithaca. While in Hades, Odysseus meets Elpenor, the youngest member of his crew. Elpenor had died on the island of the witch Circe; half-drunk and half-asleep, he fell from the roof of Circe’s house. The scene of their reunion in the Underworld is pictured on this pelike. Having not received the proper funeral rites on Circe’s island, Elpenor persuades Odysseus to give him a proper burial. Odysseus has sacrificed the two rams that lie at his feet to honor Elpenor and to keep the other spirits in Hades from tormenting him. Hermes stands behind Odysseus in his typical winged helmet and boots and with his caduceus. Although the messenger god does not appear in Homer’s telling of the story, it is appropriate for him to be a part of this scene as he often acted as a guide to the souls in Hades. The painter shows Odysseus deeply concentrating on the words of the dead sailor while Elpenor speaks. The mysterious scene of Hades depicted here was once highlighted in white pigment to draw out the details of the rocky landscape of the underworld.
    On the opposite side of the vase, Poseidon, the god of the seas and enemy of Odysseus, pursues Amymone, one of the fifty daughters of King Danaus and Europa. Poseidon carries the fisherman’s spear that often identifies him in art. Her kingdom having no water, Amymone went in search of it. In the scene represented here, she carries a water jug. Poseidon fell in love with Amymone and rewarded her for her affection by creating the spring of Lerna. The result of their affair was Nauplius, a great sailor. The woman behind Poseidon is perhaps one of the many sisters of Amymone.

    Provenance

    By date unknown: with Dr. Jacob Hirsch, Suite 1209, 30 West 54th Street, New York, N.Y.; purchased by MFA from Dr. Hirsch, March 1, 1934, for $ 9,250.00

    Credit Line

    William Amory Gardner Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Caskey-Beazley, Attic Vase Paintings (MFA), no. 111; Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 070-071.

    Dimensions

    Overall: 47.4cm (18 11/16in.) Other (Height x diameter): 34.3 cm (13 1/2 in.) Weight: 15 lb. (6.8 kg)

    Accession Number

    34.79

    Medium or Technique

    Ceramic, Red Figure

    On View

    Krupp Gallery (Gallery 215A)

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    The Ancient World

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    Vessels

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  • Earring with Nike driving a two-horse chariot

    Greek, Northern Greek
    Late Classical or Early Hellenistic Period
    about 350–325 B.C.

    Description

    Earring in form of Nike driving a two-horse chariot (biga). The figures are modeled in the round and form a pendant suspended from a disc in the shape of a honeysuckle palmette. Wearing a belted chiton (tunic), a full-length skirt, and several items of jewelry, Nike leans forward, her left hand pulling on the reins of the horses, whose front legs rear sharply. The features on the goddess’s face are crisp and her expression resolute, while the animals appear startled and tense. Raised as if in flight, Nike’s elaborate, feathery, and finely chased wings provide an elegant counterbalance to the dynamic composition.

    The ornament is composed of more than a hundred individual elements soldered together. The bodies of the figures are crafted from gold sheet that is embellished with wirework details and small gold balls. The honeysuckle palmette is fashioned into curved petals and circular stamens outlined with fine twisted wires; remnants of enamel survive on several of the stamens. In the center of the leaf is a tear-shaped fruit encrusted with dense gold granulation. A hoop on the underside was probably attached to an ear wire, which is now missing.

    Provenance

    By 1892: Count Michel Tyszkiewicz Collection (according to W. Fröhner, La Collection Tyszkiewicz, 1897, pl. 1, no. 2: found in the Peloponnesos); by 1898: with Edward Perry Warren; 1898: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 69,618.13 (this figure is the total price for MFA 98.641-98.940)

    Credit Line

    Henry Lillie Pierce Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 042.

    Dimensions

    Height: 5cm (1 15/16in.) Weight: 15.8 gm (0.03 lb.)

    Accession Number

    98.788

    Medium or Technique

    Gold and enamel

    On View

    Anne and Blake Ireland Gallery (Gallery 210A)

    Collections

    Jewelry, The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Jewelry / Adornment, Earrings, Flares, Plugs, Studs

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  • Two-handled jar (amphora) depicting the birth of Athena

    Greek
    Archaic Period
    about 540 B.C.
    Group E

    Place of Manufacture: Athens, Attica, Greece

    Description

    Athena, the patron goddess of Athens, was said to have been born fully grown from the head of Zeus. Here Zeus sits on his throne holding his thunderbolt, as the goddess springs from his head in full armor. Hephaistos, who is usually present with the axe he used to split his father’s skull, is absent, but Hermes and Apollo look on at left, and at right Ares and a goddess, possibly Aphrodite, observe the miraculous birth. (Front)

    When this vase was made, the four-horse chariot (quadriga) was no longer employed in warfare or for transportation, but was still used in races held at the great games at Olympia, Delphi, Nemea and Isthmia. This frontal rendering of a quadriga, with the pole horses facing each other and the trace horses looking away, is also known in sculpture. the charioteer, in his long white gown, stares at the flying bird as though wondering whether it is an omen of victory or defeat. (Back)

    Provenance

    By date unknown in mid or later 19th century: W. H. Forman Collection; inherited by his sister-in-law Mrs. Burt and then by his nephew Major A. H. Browne about 1889; by 1899: with Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, 13 Wellington Street, Strand, London (sale of the Forman Collection, June 19-22, lot 312 [said to be from the Hertz sale, no. 2956]); by 1900: with Edward Perry Warren; purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, February 1900

    Credit Line

    Henry Lillie Pierce Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    CVA Boston 1, pl. 05.

    Dimensions

    Height: 39.4 cm (15 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    00.330

    Medium or Technique

    Ceramic, Black Figure

    On View

    Greek Archaic Gallery (Gallery 113)

    Collections

    The Ancient World

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    Vessels

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  • Two-handled jar (amphora)

    Greek
    Archaic Period
    about 540–530 B.C.
    Close to Exekias

    Place of Manufacture: Athens, Attica, Greece

    Description

    Side A: The Dioskouroi harness a biga.
    Helen stands at the left, raising her left hand in a gesture of farewell. The Greek inscription ‘Helene’ (HELENE) above her head. Polydeukes steadies the chariot with his left foot. Behind his head and back the inscription ‘Polydeuces’ ([P]OLYDEUKES) in retrograde. Kastor wears a long white robe. Inscription above his head, ‘Kastor’ (KASTOR). A groom, Aischines, holds Simos, the off-horse. The inscription ‘Aischines’ (ASCHINES) above the figure’s head, and the Greek inscription ‘Simos’ (SIMOS) underneath the horse’s head. A second groom, Eurylochos, holds the near-horse. To the left of his legs the inscription in retrograde ‘Eurylochos’ (EURYLOCHOS). Inscription ([?]IOS) above the horse’s head that is probably part of its name. To the left of the horse’s front legs, the inscription ‘Kason is handsome’ (KAS^ON KAL^OS) in retrograde.

    Side B: Dionysos, ivy-wreathed and seated on a folding stool, drinks from a kantharos in the midst of a grapevine populated with twelve diminutive satyrs. Inscription above and to the right of his head, ‘Dionysos’ (DIONYSOS).

    Inscription

    From Left to Right Side A: ΗΕΛΕΝΕ [Π]ΟΛΥΔΕΥΚΕS (Retr.) ΑΙSΧΙΝΕS (Retr.) SΙΜΟS ΚΑSΤΟΡ [?]ΙΟS ΚΑΣΟΝ ΚΑΛΟΣ (Retr) ΕΥΡΥΛΟΧΟS (Retr) Side B: ΔΙΟΝΥΣΟΣ

    Provenance

    By 1950: with Münzen und Medaillen, A.G., Malzgasse 25, Basel, Switzerland (according to the purchase declaration on the invoice for Customs, the vase had been purchased by Münzen und Medaillen A.G. from Jean Dubois in Paris in 1950); purchased by MFA from Münzen und Medaillen, A.G., June 19, 1963

    Credit Line

    Henry Lillie Pierce Residuary Fund and Francis Bartlett Donation of 1900

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    CVA Boston 1, pl. 12; Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 035.

    Dimensions

    Height: 51.4 cm (20 1/4 in.); diamater: 33 cm (13 in.)

    Accession Number

    63.952

    Medium or Technique

    Ceramic, Black Figure

    Not On View

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    The Ancient World

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    Vessels

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  • Head of Aphrodite of the Capitoline type

    Roman
    Imperial Period
    about 2nd century A.D. (after a Hellenistic Greek type)

    Place of Manufacture: Italy, Lazio

    Description

    The head has been detached from the Capitoline Aphrodite (99.350). The nose, the lower lip, and the end of the chin have been restored. The surfaces are slightly damaged and somewhat rubbed off, in post-Antique times.
    The hair drawn back above the sides of the face and the shape of the face itself bear considerable resemblance to the Capitoline Aphrodite; the center of the topknot lacks the big “Herakles knot,” and the locks of hair falling down to the shoulders have been reduced to one smallish curl on the right side of the neck.

    Scientific Analysis:
    Marble has been scientifically tested with X-Ray Fluorescence and the head has been determined to be Dolomitic, with the top of head determined to be Calcitic.
    Harvard Lab No. HI093: Isotope ratios - delta13C +3.50 / delta18O -3.73, Attribution - Thasos-Cape Vathy, Justification - Dolomitic by EM.
    (Top of Head)Harvard Lab No. HI219: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.07 / delta18O -6.64, Attribution - Probably Pentelikon, Justification - From Italy.

    Provenance

    By date unknown: from Gabii (according to Bernoulli, Aphrodite (1873), p. 230, no. 24); by 1845: in a collection in Rome; by 1873: in the Palazzo Valentini (according to Bernoulli); by date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: Palazzo Valentini); 1899: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 32,500.00 (this is the total price for MFA 99.338-99.542)

    Credit Line

    Henry Lillie Pierce Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 167; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 111 (additional published references).

    Dimensions

    Other (Head): 30 x 23 x 27 cm (11 13/16 x 9 1/16 x 10 5/8 in.) Overall (Height including modern base): 41 cm (16 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    99.351

    Medium or Technique

    Marble, Dolomitic from the Greek island of Thasos, top of head completed in Calcitic marble probably from Mt. Pentelikon near Athens

    Not On View

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    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Sculpture

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  • Two-handled jar (Tyrrhenian neck-amphora)

    Greek
    Archaic Period
    about 560 B.C.
    the Timiades Painter

    Findspot: Vulci, Italy; Place of Manufacture: Athens, Attica, Greece

    Description

    Condition: Cracked on one side; small break in surface of middle band.

    Inscription

    "Herakles," "Andromache," "Pantariste," "Timiades," "Telamon," "Ainipe"

    Provenance

    By 1889: Prince Torlonia Collection (excavated at Vulci, 1889: Gsell, Fouilles de Vulci, tomb no. XLIX); by date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: [one of the] Contents incomplete of an early VIth Cent tomb at Vulci [containing MFA vases 98.901-909, 912-914, 916, 920]); 1898: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 69,618.13 (this figure is the total price for MFA 98.641-98.940)

    Credit Line

    Henry Lillie Pierce Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    CVA Boston 1, pl. 15; 17, 1-2.

    Dimensions

    Height: 39.4 cm (15 1/2 in.); diameter: 24.4 cm (9 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    98.916

    Medium or Technique

    Ceramic, Black Figure

    Not On View

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    The Ancient World

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    Vessels

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  • Jar (amphora)

    Greek
    Archaic Period
    about 530–525 B.C.
    The Dayton Painter

    Place of Manufacture: Athens, Attica, Greece

    Description

    Side A: Departure of a warrior in quadriga
    Side B: Bacchic scene. Dionysos, Ariadne, satyrs and maenads

    Provenance

    By 1876: Thomas G. Appleton Collection (purchased from Alessandro Castellani and said to be from Capua); gift of Thomas G. Appleton to MFA, 1876

    Credit Line

    Gift of Thomas Gold Appleton

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    CVA Boston 1, pl. 39.

    Dimensions

    Height: 30 cm (11 13/16 in.); diameter: 20.1 cm (7 15/16/in.)

    Accession Number

    76.40

    Medium or Technique

    Ceramic, Black Figure

    Not On View

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    The Ancient World

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    Vessels

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  • Two-handled jar (amphora)

    Greek
    Archaic Period
    about 520 B.C.
    the Euphiletos Painter

    Place of Manufacture: Athens, Attica, Greece

    Description

    Side A: Departure of a warrior, in a quadriga. Five figures.
    Side B: Bacchic scene. In center Dionysos, on each side a satyr and a maenad. Slightly restored.

    Provenance

    By 1874/5: Lowell D. Allen Collection (said to have been purchased by him in Rome in winter of 1874/5 from a private collection); December 1886: purchased by MFA from Lowell D. Allen for $ 100.00 (this is the total price for MFA 86.155 and 86.156)

    Credit Line

    Everett Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    CVA Boston 1, pl. 48.

    Dimensions

    40.2 cm (15 13/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    86.155

    Medium or Technique

    Ceramic, Black Figure

    Not On View

    Collections

    The Ancient World

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    Vessels

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  • Virgin and Child with Saint John the Baptist

    about 1500
    Sandro Botticelli (Italian (Florentine), 1444 or 1445–1510)

    Description

    Botticelli was renowned for the refinement and sweet delicacy of his figures. Patronized by the leading families of Florence, he also received important public commissions and ran a large workshop with many assistants. This painting, intended for private devotion, possesses characteristics of Botticelli’s later manner-a certain stiffness in the profiles and drapery folds, a continued elegance as in the hands of the Virgin and Saint John, and such improvised details as the free painting of roses on top of the lilies originally sketched at right.

    Provenance

    By 1854, E. Joly de Bammeville, Paris; June 12, 1854, sold by Bammeville at Christie's, London, lot 51 and bought by Alexander Barker, London and Hatfield (near Doncaster), South Yorkshire, England; June 6, 1874, sold by Barker at Christie's, London, lot 91, and bought by Brooks. By 1895, Charles Fairfax Murray, London and Florence; 1895, sold by Murray to Agnew's, London (Agnew's stock no. 7172); 1895, sold by Agnew's to Dr. William Sturgis Bigelow, Boston (d. 1926) for the MFA for $5000. (Accession Date: December 1, 1895)

    Credit Line

    Sarah Greene Timmins Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    123.8 x 84.4 cm (48 3/4 x 33 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    95.1372

    Medium or Technique

    Tempera on panel

    On View

    Italian Renaissance Gallery E (Gallery 219)

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Two Angels

    Piero di Cosimo (Italian (Florentine), about 1462–about 1521)

    Description

    Provenance

    By 1873, Mrs. Turner Sargent, Boston; 1894, bequest of Mrs. Turner Sargent to the MFA [see note 1]. (Accession Date: November 1, 1894) NOTES: [1] Formerly attributed to Girolamo della Pacchia.

    Credit Line

    Turner Sargent Collection—Bequest of Mrs. Turner Sargent (Amelia J. Holmes)

    Details

    Dimensions

    87.3 x 64.5 cm (34 3/8 x 25 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    94.180

    Medium or Technique

    Oil transferred from panel to canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Elijah in the Desert

    1818
    Washington Allston (American, 1779–1843)

    Description

    A South Carolinian by birth, Washington Allston attended Harvard College. After graduating he went to London in 1801, where he studied with Benjamin West. He also traveled the Continent, making extended visits to Paris, for almost a year, and Rome, where he stayed for over three years and painted himself in the guise of an intellectual and passionate traveler[84.301]. After another trip abroad in the 1810s, he returned to the United States and settled in Cambridgeport, near Boston.
    Allston is considered America’s first Romantic painter. He took the subject for Elijah in the Desert from the Old Testament. In 1 Kings 17:1–7, God ordered the prophet into the desert where he was miraculously kept alive by ravens, which brought him bread and meat. Allston conveyed Elijah’s experience and appealed to the viewer’s emotional rather than intellectual response through the bleakness of the vast, inhospitable landscape, painted in a sober palette of browns, steely blues, and grays. The mood of desolation and abandonment is underscored by the tiny size of the figure. The sources for Allston’s work here reflect his study of the old masters during his time abroad and include the Venetian Renaissance artist Titian, for his subtle manipulation of expressive color, and the Baroque painter Salvator Rosa, for the drama of the composition.

    Allston was held in the highest esteem in nineteenth-century Boston, where his work appealed especially to literary figures and intellectuals. When plans to establish an art museum in the city evolved after the Civil War, Alice Hooper (who, with her mother, was the donor of this painting) wrote to one of the founders, Martin Brimmer, “We thought we couldn’t better testify our interest in this new art movement at home than by adding a really fine Allston to our public collection.” She went on to suggest that the museum be named after Allston, “the one great artist of America,” although in fact it became the Museum of Fine Arts. [1]Elijah in the Desert was the very first object to enter the collection in 1870, even before the Museum had a building.

    Notes
    1. Alice Hooper to Major General Charles Greely Loring, July 24, 1870, object files, Department of Art of the Americas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

    This text was adapted from Elliot Bostwick Davis et al., American Painting [http://www.mfashop.com/9020398034.html], MFA Highlights (Boston: MFA Publications, 2003).

    Inscription

    Reverse, before relining: W. Allston 1818; W. Allston A.R.A.

    Provenance

    After 1818, the painting remained unsold and hung in the house of Allston's friend and patron, Isaac P. Davis (1771-1855), Boston; 1827, sold by Allston to Henry Labouchere (later Lord Taunton, 1798-1869), London for $1000; 1870, sold by Lord Taunton's estate to Mrs. Samuel Hooper and Miss Alice Sturgis Hooper (died 1879), Boston; 1870, gift of Mrs. Samuel Hooper and Miss Alice S. Hooper to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 29, 1870)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. Samuel and Miss Alice Hooper

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 125.1 x 184.8cm (49 1/4 x 72 3/4in.)

    Accession Number

    70.1

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Penny and Jeff Vinik Gallery (Gallery 233)

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  • Virgin and Child

    Domenico Corvi (Italian (Roman), 1721–1803)

    Description

    Provenance

    By 1890, with Mrs. Henry Edwards, Boston, MA (on label on back of canvas); 1890, bequest of Mrs. Henry Edwards. (Accession date: April 1, 1890)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Mrs. Henry Edwards

    Details

    Dimensions

    60 x 48.5 cm (23 5/8 x 19 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    90.76

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Friend of the Humble (Supper at Emmaus)

    1892
    Léon-Augustin Lhermitte (French, 1844–1925)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: L. Lhermitte / 1892

    Provenance

    By 1892 Boussod, Valadon et Cie., Paris and New York; 1892 J. Randolph Coolidge, Boston (from Boussod); 1892 MFA (gift of Coolidge) (Accession date: September 1, 1892)

    Credit Line

    Gift of J. Randolph Coolidge

    Details

    Dimensions

    155.5 x 222.9 cm (61 1/4 x 87 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    92.2657

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin

    about 1435–40
    Rogier van der Weyden (Flemish, about 1400–1464)

    Description

    This is among the most important northern European paintings in the United States. In it Rogier exquisitely combined the Gothic legacy of stylized patterning with a new sense of naturalism. He did not, however, merely replicate the world around him, but manipulated details to create an intricate program of symbols. For example, the enclosed garden in this painting refers to the Virgin’s purity while the carved figures of Adam and Eve on the arms of the throne symbolize Christ’s and Mary’s roles in redeeming humankind from original sin. Rogier may have modeled Saint Luke’s features on his own.

    Provenance

    About 1435/1440, possibly the Chapel of St. Catherine, Cathedral of St. Gudule, Brussels (original commission) [see note 1]. Between 1520 and 1574, probably given by Philip II of Spain (b. 1527 - d. 1598) to the Escorial, Madrid [see note 2]. By 1835, Don Infante Sebastián Gabriel Borbón y Braganza (b. 1811 - d. 1875), Madrid [see note 3]; 1837, confiscated from Braganza by Isabella II, Queen of Spain (b. 1830 - d. 1904) [see note 4]; by 1868, returned by the Queen of Spain to Sebastián Gabriel Borbón y Braganza [see note 5]; 1875, by descent to his son Pedro de Borbón y de Borbon, Duque de Dúrcal (b. 1862-d. 1892); April 5, 1889, Borbón y de Borbón sale, American Art Association, New York, lot 67, to Henry Lee Higginson, Boston; 1893, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Lee Higginson to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 30, 1893) NOTES: [1] See Dirk de Vos, Rogier van der Weyden: The Complete Works (Antwerp, 1999), cat. no. 8, pp. 203, 206, n. 14. The panel may have been installed in the chapel devoted to St. Catherine at the Cathedral of St. Gudule, where the city's guild of painters held their services and where the artist was buried. Alternatively, it may have been installed in their guildhouse. Luke was the patron saint of painters' guilds. [2] See De Vos (as above, n. 1), pp. 200, 203-204. This was probably the painting seen by the artist Albrecht Dürer during his stay in Brussels in 1520, and it is probably the painting listed in the 1574 inventory of works of art Philip II placed in the Escorial. [3] Inventory, Galería de Pinturas del Serenísimo Señor Ynfante Don Sebastian Gabriel, 1835, no. 102 (attributed to Lucas van Leyden). Archivo de Palacio, Sección Histórica, caja 123, as cited by Mercedes Agueda, "La colleción e pinturas del infante Don Sebastián Gabriel," Boletín del Museo del Prado, III, 8 (1982): 109. [4] In 1837, Sebastián Gabriel Maria de Borbón y Braganza's possessions were confiscated for political reasons and the paintings were exhibited in the Museo de la Trinidad. [5] The painting was returned to Braganza when he recognized Isabella II as the Queen of Spain. Exhibited, "Catalogue abrégé des tableaux exposés dans les salons de l'ancien asile de Pau, appartenant aux héritiers de feu Mgr. l'Infant don Sébastien [Gabriel] de Bourbon et Bragnace" (Pau, September, 1876), no. 641.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Lee Higginson

    Details

    Dimensions

    137.5 x 110.8 cm (54 1/8 x 43 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    93.153

    Medium or Technique

    Oil and tempera on panel

    On View

    William A. Coolidge Gallery (Gallery 243A)

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  • Saint Catherine

    1896
    Mary Lizzie Macomber (American, 1861–1916 American)

    Description

    Inscription

    Center right: M.L. Macomber./1896.; lower left: Copyrighted.1896.by.M.L. Macomber; Reverse: St. Catherine/M L Macomber/1896/Copyrighted 1896 by M L Macomber.

    Provenance

    The artist; to MFA, 1898, gift of the artist.

    Credit Line

    Gift of the artist

    Details

    Dimensions

    83.5 x 61.28 cm (32 7/8 x 24 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    98.622

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Triptych: Saint Jerome

    about 1470 (?)
    Sano di Pietro (Italian (Sienese), 1405–1481)

    Description

    Provenance

    Early 19th century, Count Carlo Vicoli-Caccialupi, San Severino Marche, Italy [see note 1]; by descent to Gaetano Alovisi Caccialupi (d. 1839) [see note 2]; by inheritance to his widow, Laura Antinori; 1860, sold by Antinori to Giuseppe Zucchi, Fabriano [see note 3]. After 1870, Augusto Caccialupi (b. 1834 - d. 1897), Macerata; about 1893, probably sold by Count Augusto Caccialupi to Robert Jenkins Nevin (b. 1839 - d. 1906); April 22-27, 1907, posthumous Nevin sale, Galleria Sangiorgi, Rome, lot 39. 1907, anonymous collector; 1907, gift of the anonymous collector to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 10, 1907) NOTES: [1] On the history of this panel and its companions (07.515b-c), see Vittorio Aleandri, "Il Palazzo in Roma, la famiglia e il ritratto di Giambattista Caccialupi Sanseverinate," Arte e Storia 27 (1908): 138 and Raoul Paciaroni, Un Dipinto Sanseverinate in America (San Severino, 1984), pp. 33-35. [2] In October 1828, Giuseppe Rinaldi visited the home of Gaetano Alovisi Caccialupi and described this triptych; see Paciaroni (as above, n. 1), pp. 33-34. [3] Giuseppe Ranaldi, in Memorie di belle arti, vol. I, P. I, cc. 74-74v; vol. II, p. 153, wrote that Gaetano Alovisi Caccialupi's widow, Laura Antinori, sold the paintings in 1860 to Padre Zucchi, the curate of San Pietro in Gubbio, who said he was acquiring them for Monsignor Badia, the delegate from Pesaro. In fact, they were sold to Giuseppe Zucchi of Fabriano, who worked as an art dealer. Consequently they returned to the Caccialupi family -- probably after 1870, as they do not appear in the catalogue of Count Augusto's collection published in that year. How and when Count Augusto acquired them is not clear. See Paciaroni (as above, n. 1) and ibid., Bernardino di Mariotto da Perugia, il ventennio sanseverinate (1502-1521), 2005, p. 93.

    Credit Line

    Anonymous gift

    Details

    Dimensions

    95 x 51.1 cm (37 3/8 x 20 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    07.515a

    Medium or Technique

    Tempera on panel

    Not On View

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  • Triptych: The Virgin and Child with the Blessing Christ, Two Angels and a Donor

    Sano di Pietro (Italian (Sienese), 1405–1481)

    Description

    Provenance

    Early 19th century, Count Carlo Vicoli-Caccialupi, San Severino Marche, Italy [see note 1]; by descent to Gaetano Alovisi Caccialupi (d. 1839) [see note 2]; by inheritance to his widow, Laura Antinori; 1860, sold by Antinori to Giuseppe Zucchi, Fabriano [see note 3]. After 1870, Augusto Caccialupi (b. 1834 - d. 1897), Macerata; about 1893, probably sold by Count Augusto Caccialupi to Robert Jenkins Nevin (b. 1839 - d. 1906); April 22-27, 1907, posthumous Nevin sale, Galleria Sangiorgi, Rome, lot 39. 1907, anonymous collector; 1907, gift of the anonymous collector to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 10, 1907) NOTES: [1] On the history of this panel and its companions (07.515a, c), see Vittorio Aleandri, "Il Palazzo in Roma, la famiglia e il ritratto di Giambattista Caccialupi Sanseverinate," Arte e Storia 27 (1908): 138 and Raoul Paciaroni, Un Dipinto Sanseverinate in America (San Severino, 1984), pp. 33-35. [2] In October 1828, Giuseppe Rinaldi visited the home of Gaetano Alovisi Caccialupi and described this triptych; see Paciaroni (as above, n. 1), pp. 33-34. [3] Giuseppe Ranaldi, in Memorie di belle arti, vol. I, P. I, cc. 74-74v; vol. II, p. 153, wrote that Gaetano Alovisi Caccialupi's widow, Laura Antinori, sold the paintings in 1860 to Padre Zucchi, the curate of San Pietro in Gubbio, who said he was acquiring them for Monsignor Badia, the delegate from Pesaro. In fact, they were sold to Giuseppe Zucchi of Fabriano, who worked as an art dealer. Consequently they returned to the Caccialupi family -- probably after 1870, as they do not appear in the catalogue of Count Augusto's collection published in that year. How and when Count Augusto acquired them is not clear. See Paciaroni (as above, n. 1) and ibid., Bernardino di Mariotto da Perugia, il ventennio sanseverinate (1502-1521), 2005, p. 93.

    Credit Line

    Anonymous gift

    Details

    Dimensions

    122.2 x 70.5 cm (48 1/8 x 27 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    07.515b

    Medium or Technique

    Tempera on panel

    Not On View

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  • Triptych: Saint Catherine of Siena

    Sano di Pietro (Italian (Sienese), 1405–1481)

    Description

    Provenance

    Early 19th century, Count Carlo Vicoli-Caccialupi, San Severino Marche, Italy [see note 1]; by descent to Gaetano Alovisi Caccialupi (d. 1839) [see note 2]; by inheritance to his widow, Laura Antinori; 1860, sold by Antinori to Giuseppe Zucchi, Fabriano [see note 3]. After 1870, Augusto Caccialupi (b. 1834 - d. 1897), Macerata; about 1893, probably sold by Count Augusto Caccialupi to Robert Jenkins Nevin (b. 1839 - d. 1906); April 22-27, 1907, posthumous Nevin sale, Galleria Sangiorgi, Rome, lot 39. 1907, anonymous collector; 1907, gift of the anonymous collector to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 10, 1907) NOTES: [1] On the history of this panel and its companions (07.515a-b), see Vittorio Aleandri, "Il Palazzo in Roma, la famiglia e il ritratto di Giambattista Caccialupi Sanseverinate," Arte e Storia 27 (1908): 138 and Raoul Paciaroni, Un Dipinto Sanseverinate in America (San Severino, 1984), pp. 33-35. [2] In October 1828, Giuseppe Rinaldi visited the home of Gaetano Alovisi Caccialupi and described this triptych; see Paciaroni (as above, n. 1), pp. 33-34. [3] Giuseppe Ranaldi, in Memorie di belle arti, vol. I, P. I, cc. 74-74v; vol. II, p. 153, wrote that Gaetano Alovisi Caccialupi's widow, Laura Antinori, sold the paintings in 1860 to Padre Zucchi, the curate of San Pietro in Gubbio, who said he was acquiring them for Monsignor Badia, the delegate from Pesaro. In fact, they were sold to Giuseppe Zucchi of Fabriano, who worked as an art dealer. Consequently they returned to the Caccialupi family -- probably after 1870, as they do not appear in the catalogue of Count Augusto's collection published in that year. How and when Count Augusto acquired them is not clear. See Paciaroni (as above, n. 1) and ibid., Bernardino di Mariotto da Perugia, il ventennio sanseverinate (1502-1521), 2005, p. 93.

    Credit Line

    Anonymous gift

    Details

    Dimensions

    95.3 x 51.8 cm (37 1/2 x 20 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    07.515c

    Medium or Technique

    Tempera on panel

    Not On View

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  • Fraternal Love

    1851
    William Adolphe Bouguereau (French, 1825–1905)

    Description

    Bouguereau enjoyed a lifetime of official favor and commercial success and carried the tradition of French academic painting to the turn of the twentieth century. As a young man, he was awarded the prestigious Prix de Rome, which enabled him to study in Italy for four years. Fraternal Love, painted in Rome, was modelled after the Renaissance artist Raphael’s paintings of the Virgin and Child with Saint John, with their harmonious grouping of idealized, serene figures.

    Inscription

    Lower right: W. BOVGVEREAV. 1851.

    Provenance

    1864, possibly with the Artists' Fund Society, New York [see note 1]. By 1869, Thomas Wigglesworth (b. 1814 - d. 1906 or 1907), Boston [see note 2]; 1908, gift of the estate of Thomas Wigglesworth to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 9, 1908) NOTES: [1] This painting was once identified as the Holy Family. It might be the "Holy Family" by Bouguereau for sale at the Fifth Annual sale of Paintings, Artists' Fund Society, New York, 1864 (no. 174), although this has not been verified. It has also been suggested that the New York dealer Samuel Putnam Avery acquired this, possibly from Durand-Ruel, and sold it in New York in 1868 (as "Fraternal Love"). This too has not been verified. [2] He lent this painting to the "Forty-Fifth Exhibition" (Boston Atheneaum, 1869), cat. no. 258.

    Credit Line

    Gift of the Estate of Thomas Wigglesworth

    Details

    Dimensions

    147 x 113.7 cm (57 7/8 x 44 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    08.186

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • The Crucifixion

    about 1525
    Joos van Cleve (Flemish, active in 1511–died in 1540 or 1541)

    Description

    One of the leading artists in sixteenth-century Antwerp, Joos combined such stylized and decorative elements as the arabesque flutter of Christ’s loincloth with naturalistic details, including the greenish pallor of Christ’s flesh. The weighty fall of the Virgin’s cloak emphasizes her restrained grief, while Saint John’s drapery reflects his agitation. Rather than rendering such details as the tiny party departing from the scene less distinctly to show that they are far away, Joos used color to demarcate distance-brown for the foreground, green for the middle ground, and blue for the background.

    Provenance

    Gottfried Christoph Beireis (b. 1730 - d. 1809), Helmstedt, Germany. 1881, private collection, Düsseldorf; 1881, sold from this private collection, through Oscar Eisenmann, Cassel, to Eduard Friedrich Weber (b. 1830 - d. 1907) for the Galerie Weber, Hamburg; Feburary 20-22, 1912, Galerie Weber sale, Lepke, Berlin, lot 84, to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 7, 1912)

    Credit Line

    The Picture Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    80.4 x 63.2 cm (31 5/8 x 24 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.170

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    On View

    William A. Coolidge Gallery (Gallery 243A)

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  • Rest on the Flight into Egypt

    1879
    Luc Olivier Merson (French, 1846–1920)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: LVC OLIVIER-MERSON / MDCCCLXXIX

    Provenance

    19th century, acquired in Paris by George Golding Kennedy (b. 1841 - d. 1918), Boston [see note 1]; 1918, bequest of George Golding Kennedy to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 7, 1918) NOTES: [1] According to notes in the MFA curatorial file.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of George Golding Kennedy

    Details

    Dimensions

    71.8 x 128.3 cm (28 1/4 x 50 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    18.652

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Lorna and Robert Rosenberg Gallery (Gallery 252)

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  • Isaiah with Two Angels

    about 1410
    Gherardo di Jacopo Starnina (Italian (Florentine), about 1360–1413)

    Description

    Provenance

    Thomas O. Richardson (d. 1920); 1920, by inheritance to Mrs. Thomas O. Richardson (d. 1924), Boston, MA; 1920, gift of Mrs. Thomas O. Richardson. (Accession date: December 13, 1920)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. Thomas O. Richardson

    Details

    Dimensions

    31.8 x 99.4 cm (12 1/2 x 39 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    20.1856

    Medium or Technique

    Tempera on panel

    Not On View

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  • Jeremiah with Two Angels

    about 1410
    Gherardo di Jacopo Starnina (Italian (Florentine), about 1360–1413)

    Description

    Provenance

    Thomas O. Richardson (d. 1920); 1920, by inheritance to Mrs. Thomas O. Richardson (d. 1924), Boston, MA; 1920, gift of Mrs. Thomas O. Richardson. (Accession date: December 13, 1920)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. Thomas Richardson

    Details

    Dimensions

    31.8 x 74 cm (12 1/2 x 29 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    20.1857

    Medium or Technique

    Tempera on panel

    Not On View

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  • Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist

    1515–25
    Bernardino Luini (Italian (Milanese), active in 1512, died in 1532)

    Description

    The Bible’s gospel of Mark recounts how King Herod, captivated by the dancing of his stepdaughter, Salome, offered her any reward. At her mother’s urging, Salome requested the head of John the Baptist, who had criticized her mother’s marriage. Like other Renaissance paintings of this subject, the beautiful faces of Salome and John belie the brutal violence of decapitation. This painting, its contours blurred by delicate shadows, is one of the works by Luini most indebted to Leonardo da Vinci.

    Provenance

    Duke of Ascoli, Naples [see note 1]. With Elia Volpi (b. 1858 - d. 1938), Florence [see note 2]. 1921, Duveen Brothers, New York; 1921, sold by Duveen to Mrs. Walter Scott Fitz (Henrietta Goddard Wigglesworth) (b. 1847 - d. 1927), Boston; gift of Mrs. Walter Scott Fitz to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 20, 1921) NOTES: [1] Luca Beltrami, "Luini, 1512-1532" (Milan, 1911), p. 566, records it as being in the Duke of Ascoli collection. [2] Marilena Tamassia, "Collezioni d'arte tra Ottocento e Novecento: Jacquier fotografi a Firenze 1870-1935" (Naples, 1995), p. 224, no. 51517.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. W. Scott Fitz

    Details

    Dimensions

    62.23 x 51.43 cm (24 1/2 x 20 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    21.2287

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    On View

    Italian Renaissance Gallery E (Gallery 219)

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  • In Memoriam

    about 1861
    Alfred Stevens (Belgian (worked in France), 1823–1906)

    Description

    Born in Belgium, Alfred Stevens made his name after moving to Paris, where he was a friend of Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas. Stevens became famous for his depictions of modern life as embodied in Parisian women. His painting of a young woman in a black mourning dress, lighting a votive candle, may represent an elegant widow. Stevens made a specialty of painting women of fashion, but in early works such as this one, he also sought to respond to the Realists’ call to show a wide variety of aspects of modern life.

    Inscription

    Lower right: Alfred Stevens

    Provenance

    Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow (b. 1845 - d. 1921), Boston; 1923, bequeathed by Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 1, 1923)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 55.2 x 44.5cm (21 3/4 x 17 1/2in.) Other (Framed): 74.3 x 8.3 x 87.6cm (29 1/4 x 3 1/4 x 34 1/2in.)

    Accession Number

    23.491

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

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  • Madonna of Humility

    Virgin and Child

    about 1442
    Giovanni di Paolo (Italian (Sienese), about 1399–1482)

    Description

    Giovanni di Paolo preferred to emphasize religious sentiment and decorative patterning rather than the illusion of depth and three-dimensional form. In this work, the Virgin, seated on the ground to indicate her humility, cradles her child against a backdrop of strawberries and wildflowers and a sheltering screen of fruit trees. In the distance stretches a landscape of cultivated fields, stony roads, and fortified towns. Still in its original frame and in a near-perfect state of preservation, this panel exemplifies the lyrical quality of Sienese painting.

    Provenance

    By 1909, Eugen Miller von Aichholz (b. 1835 - d. 1919), Vienna. Dr. Albert Figdor (b. 1843 - d. 1927), Vienna; September 29, 1930, posthumous Figdor sale, Cassirer, Berlin, lot 9, sold for M 135,000 to Agnew, London (stock no. 7196); 1930, sold by Agnew to the MFA for $38,625. (Accession Date: December 4, 1930)

    Credit Line

    Maria Antoinette Evans Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    61.9 x 48.9 cm (24 3/8 x 19 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    30.772

    Medium or Technique

    Tempera on panel

    On View

    Italian Renaissance Gallery E (Gallery 219)

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  • Door of a Mosque

    about 1891
    John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925)

    Description

    Provenance

    The artist; Mrs. Francis Ormond, his sister; to MFA, 1937, gift of Mrs. Francis Ormond.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. Francis Ormond

    Details

    Dimensions

    61.28 x 80.01 cm (24 1/8 x 31 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    37.50

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Saint Francis

    about 1640–45
    Francisco de Zurbarán (Spanish, 1598–1664)

    Description

    Zurbarán was renowned as a painter of large-scale religious images, greatly in demand for churches and monasteries throughout Spain and the New World. Zurbarán’s colors are restrained and his compositions rigorously simple; this austerity, combined with precise detail and strong, theatrical lighting, gives his sacred figures an intense, almost mystical presence. This image may, in fact, represent a vision reportedly seen by Pope Nicholas V two hundred years after Saint Francis’s death in 1226: the undecayed body of the saint standing in his burial crypt as though living.

    Provenance

    1823, acquired in Madrid by William à Court (b. 1779 - d. 1860), 1st Baron Heytesbury, Heytesbury House, Wiltshire [see note 1]; by descent within the family to Margaret Anna (d. 1920), Lady Heytesbury; April 27, 1926, Lady Heytesbury estate sale, Hampton and Sons, Heytesbury, lot 1358, sold for £21. 1931, with Tomás Harris, Ltd., London [see note 2]. By 1935, Julius Böhler, Böhler and Steinmeyer, Lucerne [see note 3]; 1938, sold by Böhler and Steinmeyer to the MFA for $3502.50. (Accession Date: November 10, 1938) NOTES: [1] See Martin S. Soria, The Paintings of Zurbarán: Complete Edition (London: Phaidon, 1953), p. 179, cat. no. 184. William à Court was ambassador to Spain from 1822 to 1824. [2] The MFA painting was exhibited at Tomás Harris, Ltd., London, in 1931 ("Old Masters by Spanish Artists," June 1931), though whether Harris owned it, or it was on loan from Böhler (see below, n. 3), has not been determined. [3] Julius Böhler lent the painting to the exhibition "Alte und neue spanische Kunst" (Kunstverein, Hamburg, August-September, 1935), cat. no. 27. When asked about its provenance, Fritz Steinmeyer wrote (letter to the MFA; November 25, 1938) that the firm had bought it in 1927 from an English dealer, who had acquired it from a French private collection. Two other paintings by Zurbarán, also included in the Heytesbury sale of 1926, are documented as being owned by Böhler in 1927. However, because the MFA painting is not known ever to have been in a French collection, Steinmeyer's information is, at least in part, erroneous. According to Juan Antonio Gaya Nuño, La Pintura Española fuera de España (Madrid, 1958), p. 344, cat. no. 3107, the MFA painting was purchased at the Heytesbury sale in 1926 by Tomás Harris, who sold it in 1931 to Böhler and Steinmeyer. This has not been substantiated, however, and the painting's provenance between 1926 and 1935 remains unclarified.

    Credit Line

    Herbert James Pratt Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    207.0 x 106.7 cm (81 1/2 x 42 in.)

    Accession Number

    38.1617

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Out on Loan

    On display at Basilica Palladiana, Vicenza, December 24, 2014 – June 2, 2015

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  • The Garden of Eden

    about 1860
    Erastus Salisbury Field (American, 1805–1900)

    Description

    About 1860, after the death of his wife, Erastus Salisbury Field set aside his busy portrait-painting practice in Ware, Massachusetts, and began creating religious and historical pictures. Although his brief period of training with painter Samuel F. B. Morse [48.455] in New York no doubt exposed him to the conventions of high-style history painting, Field’s own works in the genre were highly idiosyncratic and reflected his increasingly eccentric personality. Although Field’s neighbors are reputed to have marveled at the extraordinary and often gargantuan pictures he created, his work seldom found a market, and many of his canvases were found stacked up against the walls of his studio—little more than a shack—when he died.
    The Garden of Eden (which exists in two versions; the second is at the Shelburne Museum, Vermont) was among the first of Field’s biblical subjects. Although based to some degree on paintings of the Genesis creation story by such well-known artists as the British romantic painter John Martin and the American Thomas Cole [47.1188], which Field probably knew from illustrated Bibles and inexpensive engravings, Field’s Eden reflects equally his own fantasy world. His paradise is a lush and precisely organized place. The cone-shaped mountains recede in orderly rows, New England fruit trees are matched with tropical palms, and—like a miniature Noah’s ark—the animals are arrayed in pairs, with such exotic species as elephants, giraffes, and zebras coexisting amicably with their domestic brethren.

    When the Museum acquired The Garden of Eden in 1948, it looked significantly different than it does now. It seemed less a depiction of the events leading up to the expulsion from paradise than an illustration of Adam naming the animals (as described in Genesis 2:19–20), for neither Eve nor the serpent was present. Conservators discovered that they had been painted over (possibly, according to the artist’s great-nephew, at the request of his prudish spinster aunt). Once the censorious overpaint was removed and the picture returned to the artist’s original conception, the seeds of discord were again visible in paradise.

    This text was adapted from Elliot Bostwick Davis et al., American Painting [http://www.mfashop.com/9020398034.html], MFA Highlights (Boston: MFA Publications, 2003).

    Provenance

    About 1860, the artist; 1916, descended in the artist's family to his grand nephew, Carey S. Hayward, Pittsfield, Mass.; 1948, sold by Carey S. Hayward to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I.; 1948, gift of Maxim Karolik to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 9, 1948)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    88.26 x 116.52 cm (34 3/4 x 45 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.1027

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Joyce and Edward Linde Gallery (Gallery 237)

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    Americas

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  • The Lamentation

    1538
    Lucas Cranach, the Elder (German, 1472–1553)

    Description

    A traditionally Catholic subject, the lamentation over the dead Christ is described in the apocryphal gospel of Nicodemus, not in the canonical Bible. Here, Nicodemus holds Mary Magdalene’s ointment jar, and Joseph of Arimathea, with the crown of thorns, comforts the mourning Virgin. Saint John supports the dead Christ while Mary Magdalene kneels to kiss the wound on Christ’s hand. Despite the religious upheaval in northern Europe, Cranach’s Protestantism did not prevent him from accepting commissions for Catholic patrons.

    Inscription

    Lower left, on rock: 1538 / winged dragon symbol

    Provenance

    August 26, 1709, presented in Brno, Czech Republic, possibly by Maria Josepha Antonia (b. 1686 - d.1771), Countess of Oettingen and Countess von Paar [see note 1]. Desfours-Walderode collection, Czech Republic or Austria [see note 2]. Charles Sumner (b. 1811 - d. 1874), Boston and Washington, DC; 1874, bequest of Charles Sumner to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 17, 1874) [1] On the reverse of the panel is an old, paper label that reads: "Franciscus Antonius Comes de Lichtenstein obtulit JO[sef]a Comitissa Paar Nata Comitissa De Otting[en] pro aeterna memoria die 26 Augusti brünae Anno 1709" . The exact meaning of this inscription has not yet been deciphered. [2] On the reverse of the panel is an old, paper label with the Desfours de Mont et d'Athienville coat of arms beside the Walderode coat of arms. It reads "Lucas Kranach," and bears an inventory number, possibly 145, 845, or 945.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Charles Sumner

    Details

    Dimensions

    60.3 x 40.0 cm (23 3/4 x 15 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    74.28

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    On View

    William A. Coolidge Gallery (Gallery 243A)

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  • The Communion of the Apostles

    Luca Giordano (Italian (Neapolitan), 1634–1705)

    Description

    Giordano was known for the speed with which he executed large-scale paintings. Giordano’s strength in conveying dramatic action is displayed here, as Christ is shown sharing the Passover meal with his twelve disciples. Distributing the bread and wine, he asks them to remember him by reenacting this meal, thus instituting the sacrament of Holy Communion.

    Provenance

    Before 1848, in Bohemia, Czechoslovakia. Anonymous collection (baron). By 1882, with Mrs. Louis Thies, Cambridge, MA, USA; 1882, Gift of Thies, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Accession date: April 19, 1882)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. Louis Thies

    Details

    Dimensions

    188 x 305.1 cm (74 x 120 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    82.112

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Virgin and Child

    about 1380
    Antonio Veneziano (Italian (Florentine), active 1369–1388)

    Description

    Provenance

    1884, Mrs. C. B. Raymond, Boston; 1884, gift of Mrs. C. B. Raymond to the MFA. (Accession Date: July 1, 1884)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. C. B. Raymond

    Details

    Dimensions

    55.9 x 37.4 cm (22 x 14 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    84.293

    Medium or Technique

    Tempera on panel

    Not On View

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  • Virgin and Child

    first half of the 16th century
    Master Of The Scandicci Lamentation (Italian), Formerly attributed to Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio or Santi) (Italian, 1483–1520)

    Description

    After central figures in Raphael’s “Madonna of the Baldacchino,” Galleria Palatina, Palazzo Pitti, Florence.

    Provenance

    By the 19th century, Tempi family, Florence [see note 1]; sold by Tempi family to Emilio Costantini, Florence; 1906, sold by Costantini to Robert Dawson Evans (b. 1843 - d. 1909), Boston [see note 2]; by inheritence to Mrs. Robert Dawson Evans (Maria Antoinette Hunt, b. 1845 -d. 1917), Boston; 1917, bequest of Mrs. Robert Dawson Evans to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 1, 1917) NOTES: [1] The painting was formerly attributed to Andrea del Sarto. In the MFA curatorial file are two statements signed by Emilio Costantini (June 1, 1906 and June 11, [probably 1906]), declaring that he had sold the picture to Robert Dawson Evans and "guaranteeing the said painting to be an original by Andrea del Sarto. The picture belonged to the Tempi family and was partially immersed during the flood of 1842; it was saved almost by miracle and was carefully conserved by the heirs of the said family who sold it to me" (taken from statement of June 1). [2] A letter from Mr. Hunt's agent (signature illegible) to Mr. Hunt (May 30, 1906) confirms the purchase of the painting from Costantini.

    Credit Line

    Robert Dawson Evans Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 86 x 65.4 cm (33 7/8 x 25 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.3227

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

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  • Angels Representing Adoration, Praise, Thanksgiving, and Love

    American
    1890s
    John La Farge (American, 1835–1910)

    Description

    Provenance

    Bigelow Collection. Gift 1921

    Credit Line

    William Sturgis Bigelow Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet (each): 26 x 34.9 cm (10 1/4 x 13 3/4 in.) Framed: 45.1 x 167 x 1.9 cm (17 3/4 x 65 3/4 x 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    21.1555.1

    Medium or Technique

    Opaque and transparent watercolor and metallic paint

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

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  • The Descent From the Cross

    possibly mid–1480s
    Cosimo Rosselli (Italian (Florentine), 1439–1507)

    Description

    Provenance

    By 1839, possibly with Giovanni Rosini, Pisa, Italy. By about 1862-72, unidentified collection, Firenze, Italy. By about 1862/72, acquired from an unidentified collection in Florence (?) by Charles Somers, 3rd Earl Somers-Cocks (d. 1883), Eastnor Castle, Herefordshire, England; after his death, 1883, by descent to his daughter, Lady Charles (?) Richard Henry Somerset (Isabel Caroline Somerset, d. 1921), the Priory, Reigate, Surrey, England; from Lady Somerset to Robert Langton Douglas, London, England; by 1922, from Douglas to Zoe Oliver Sherman, Boston, MA; 1922, gift of Sherman. (Accession date: August 3, 1922)

    Credit Line

    Zoe Oliver Sherman Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    50.8 x 35.9 cm (20 x 14 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    22.651

    Medium or Technique

    Oil and tempera on panel

    Not On View

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    Europe

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  • Man of Sorrows

    Master of San Pietro in Sylvis (Pietro da Rimini ?) (Italian (Riminese), active about 1310–1325)

    Description

    Provenance

    By 1926, Edward Jackson Holmes (b. 1873 - d. 1950), Boston; 1928, gift of Edward Jackson Holmes to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 18, 1928)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Edward Jackson Holmes

    Details

    Dimensions

    26.7 x 16.8 cm (10 1/2 x 6 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    28.887

    Medium or Technique

    Tempera on panel

    Not On View

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  • Virgin and Child with Saints Jerome and Nicholas of Tolentino

    1523–24
    Lorenzo Lotto (Italian (Venetian), about 1480–1556)

    Description

    The vibrant colors and deep, atmospheric landscape of this painting are hallmarks of the painting of Lotto, a Venetian contemporary of Titian. The small coffin on which the Christ child sits foretells his death, as does the crucifix held by the weeping Saint Jerome. Meditation on the death of Christ was encouraged as a way of understanding Christ’s suffering and man’s redemption. Lotto’s sensitivity to human emotion is evident in the expressions of the saints who flank the Virgin and Child.

    Provenance

    1811, Louis Varisco, Paris; 1811, Varisco sale, Paris, no. 8 [see note 1], probably to Joséphine Bonaparte (b. 1763 - d. 1814), Empress of the French, Malmaison, near Paris [see note 2]; by inheritance from Joséphine to her daughter, Hortense de Beauharnais (b. 1783 - d. 1837), Queen of Holland; June 15, 1819, Beauharnais sale, Augsburg, lot 33, unsold; 1820, Beauharnais sale, Augsburg, lot 26, unsold; 1823, Beauharnais sale, Vienna, lot 20, unsold [see note 3]; by descent from Hortense de Beauharnais to her son, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (b. 1808 - d. 1873), Paris and Chislehurst, Kent; August 20, 1840, Prince Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte sale, Christie's, London, lot 142, to Sir John Easthope (d. 1865), 1st Bart., Plas Dulas, Abergele, Denbigshire, Wales, for £33.12; by descent within the family to his great-grandson, Robert McGillivray Dawkins (d. 1955), Oxford and Plas Dulas; November 2, 1955, Dawkins sale, Sotheby's, London, lot 160, to Mr. Johnson. 1960, with Mr. Wright, London; 1960, sold by Wright to Rudolf J. Heinemann (dealer, b. 1902 - d. 1975), New York; 1960, sold by Heinemann to the MFA for $75,000. (Accession Date: March 10, 1960) NOTES: [1] Attributed to Correggio. See Hipolyte Delaroche, "Catalogue d'une Collection Précieuse de Tableaux," Paris, 1811, pp. 11-13. Varisco was a Parisian art dealer. The 1811 sale was not an auction, but rather, the sale of his stock. [2] Most of the paintings in the Varisco sale of 1811 were subsequently in the collection of Joséphine. The Lotto appears in her inventory of 1814, no. 1166, attributed to Correggio. [3] The sale catalogues of 1819, 1820, and 1823 do not bear Queen Hortense's name but rather that of the gallery at Malmaison. In each one, the painting is attributed to Correggio, as it is in the Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte sale of 1840.

    Credit Line

    Charles Potter Kling Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    94.3 x 77.8 cm (37 1/8 x 30 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    60.154

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Museum Council Gallery (Gallery 254)

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  • The Nativity

    about 1776
    John Singleton Copley (American, 1738–1815)

    Description

    Provenance

    The artist, until 1815; to Lord Lyndhurst, his son; with Lyndhurst sale, Christie's, London, March 5, 1864, no. 62; to Colonel Hawkesley; to Canon F. G. Brenchley; with Sotheby's, London, November 17, 1981, as Benjamin West, "The Adoration of the Shepherds," lot 38; with Cyril Humphris, London; to MFA, 1972, purchase.

    Credit Line

    Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    62.23 x 76.2 cm (24 1/2 x 30 in.)

    Accession Number

    1972.981

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Liberty Mutual Gallery (Gallery 136)

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    Americas

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  • Aizen myôô, the Wisdom King of Passion

    Aizen myô-o zazô

    Japanese
    Kamakura-Nambokuchô period
    14th century

    Description

    Provenance

    1909, gift of Francis Gardner Curtis (b. 1868 - d. 1915), Boston, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 14, 1909)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Francis Gardner Curtis

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Kajima Volume 1: Chapter 2, pg. 40: no. 46

    Dimensions

    91.7 cm (36 1/8 in.) (height of figure)

    Accession Number

    09.383

    Medium or Technique

    Japanese cypress with polychrome, gold, and inlaid crystal; joined woodblock construction

    On View

    Japan: Buddhist Art (Gallery 278B)

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    Asia

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  • White-robed Bodhisattva of Compassion

    Japanese
    Muromachi period
    first half of the 16th century
    Kano Motonobu (Japanese, 1476–1559)

    Description

    Provenance

    Formerly in the collection of Daimyo Hachisuka of Awa Province. Prior to 1883 purchased by Ernest Francisco Fenollosa from Yamanaka and Co.; 1886 purchased by Charles Goddard Weld from Ernest Fenollosa; 1911 bequeathed by Charles Goddard Weld to the MFA.

    Credit Line

    Fenollosa-Weld Collection

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Kajima Volume 1: Chapter 7, pg. 119: no. 5

    Dimensions

    157.2 x 76.4cm (61 7/8 x 30 1/16in.)

    Accession Number

    11.4267

    Medium or Technique

    Hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold on silk

    Not On View

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  • Shô Kannon, the Bodhisattva of Compassion

    Shô Kannon bosatsu zazô

    Japanese
    Kamakura period
    dated 1269
    Saichi (Japanese, dates unknown)

    Description

    Provenance

    Originally owned by Kongorin-ji, Shiga Prefecture; by 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850 - d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 3, 1911) NOTES: [1] Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.

    Credit Line

    William Sturgis Bigelow Collection

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Kajima Volume 1: Chapter 2, pg. 39: no. 38

    Dimensions

    Overall (Height of figure): 50.3 cm (19 13/16 in.) Overall (Height to hairline): 38.2 cm (15 1/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    11.11447

    Medium or Technique

    Gilt bronze; cast from piece molds

    On View

    Japan: Buddhist Art (Gallery 278B)

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    Asia

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    Sculpture

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  • Kannon, the Bodhisattva of Compassion

    Kannon zu

    Japanese
    Edo period
    latter half of the 17th to first half of the 18th century
    Kano Tansetsu (Japanese, 1655–1714)

    Description

    Provenance

    By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850 - d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 3, 1911) NOTES: [1] Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.

    Credit Line

    William Sturgis Bigelow Collection

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    KJM2-Kano-052

    Dimensions

    Image: 119.5 x 50 cm (47 1/16 x 19 11/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    11.6706

    Medium or Technique

    Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk

    Not On View

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    Asia

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  • Avalokiteshvara

    Indian, Eastern
    Pala period
    11th century

    Object Place: Bihar, India (Eastern)

    Description

    Provenance

    1963, sold by Heemaraneck Galleries, New York, to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 10, 1963)

    Credit Line

    Marshal H. Gould and Frederick Jack Funds

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 77.3 x 39 x 25.4 cm, 98.9 kg (30 7/16 x 15 3/8 x 10 in., 218.03 lb.)

    Accession Number

    63.418

    Medium or Technique

    Gray schist

    On View

    Southeast Asian Art Gallery (Gallery 176)

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    Asia

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  • Krishna and his favorite shelter from a storm

    Varsha Vihara

    Indian, Pahari
    about 1825
    Attributed to The Family of Nainsukh

    Object Place: Kangra style, Punjab Hills, Northern India

    Description

    Inscription

    Reverse: at top, in Devanagari, cut off at end: "ke ki ke pukar dharavat ki dhukar mahan jhili jjhukardagaparrtan meri he..." Translated into English in old hand below: "Crying of peahens, crying of yokels, shrill crickets cry; hath felt not be me, O..."

    Provenance

    Given to the MFA by Denman Waldo Ross in 1917. Purchased from Ananda Coomaraswamy in 1917. Purchased in India prior to 1916.

    Credit Line

    Ross-Coomaraswamy Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 29.7 x 21.1cm (11 11/16 x 8 5/16in.) Other (Image only): 16.9 x 24.4 cm (6 5/8 x 9 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.2614

    Medium or Technique

    Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

    Not On View

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    Asia

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  • Krishna Fluting for Gopas and Cows

    Indian, Pahari
    about 1700

    Object Place: Possibly Jammu area, Punjab Hills, Northern India

    Description

    Provenance

    Given to the MFA by Denman Waldo Ross in 1917. Purchased from Ananda Coomaraswamy in 1917. Acquired in India prior to 1916.

    Credit Line

    Ross-Coomaraswamy Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 16 x 24.5 cm (6 5/16 x 9 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.2804

    Medium or Technique

    Opaque watercolor and silver on paper

    Not On View

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    Asia

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  • Gita Govinda: Krishna awaiting Radha

    Indian, Rajasthani
    Probably 1629
    Attributed to Sahibdin (Indian, active about 1620–55 Indian)

    Object Place: Mewar, Rajasthan, Norhtern India

    Description

    Inscription

    Inscription in front top: "He is making a bed of banana leaves and decorating it with flowers that attract the humming bees. He keeps looking at the path in anticipation of your arrival." -- Krishna Prepares for Love.

    Provenance

    Given to the MFA by Denman Waldo Ross in 1932.

    Credit Line

    Denman Waldo Ross Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 26.3 x 18.6cm (10 3/8 x 7 5/16in.) Framed: 18 3/4 x 14 3/4 in. (47.6 x 37.5 cm)

    Accession Number

    32.53

    Medium or Technique

    Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

    Not On View

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    Asia

    Classifications

    Books and manuscripts

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  • Harivamsa (Genealogy of Krishna): The Birth and Escape of Krishna

    Indian, Mughal
    Mughal period
    About 1590, border added later

    Object Place: Northern India

    Description

    Provenance

    By 1966, John Goelet, Ambainville (Oise) France (probably purchased in India in the1960's); 1966, gift of Goelet to the MFA. (Accession Date: February 9, 1966)

    Credit Line

    Gift of John Goelet

    Details

    Dimensions

    22.2 x 11.7 cm (8 3/4 x 4 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    66.148

    Medium or Technique

    Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

    Not On View

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    Asia

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    Books and manuscripts

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  • Krishna Vanishes from His Favorite

    Indian, Pahari
    about 1760
    Attributed to The Family of Manaku

    Object Place: Basohli or Guler, Punjab Hills, Northern India

    Description

    Inscription

    Reverse: at top, in gomuhi script: brief passage, possibly a title. mid-page, in Devanagari: verse of Bhagavata Purana plus numbers: no. 97 on left, 70 top, 73 bottom as page no.and 79 on verse.

    Provenance

    Given to the MFA by Mr. and Mrs. John MacDonald in 1961.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John Dolliver MacDonald

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 30 x 40.4cm (11 13/16 x 15 7/8in.) Other (Image only): 23 x 33.4cm (9 1/16 x 13 1/8in.)

    Accession Number

    61.382

    Medium or Technique

    Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

    Not On View

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    Asia

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  • Krishna as Lover of Many

    Indian, Rajasthani
    About 1665

    Object Place: Mewar, Rajasthan, Northern India

    Description

    Provenance

    By 1966, John Goelet, Ambainville (Oise) France (probably purchased in India); 1966, gift of Goelet to the MFA. (Accession Date: February 9, 1966)

    Credit Line

    Gift of John Goelet

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall:19.4 x 23.7 cm (7 5/8 x 9 5/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    66.117

    Medium or Technique

    Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

    Not On View

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    Asia

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  • Krishna and the Gopis

    Indian, Rajasthani
    About 1660

    Object Place: Mewar, Rajasthan, Northern India

    Description

    Provenance

    By 1966, John Goelet, Ambainville (Oise) France (probably purchased in India); 1966, gift of Goelet to the MFA. (Accession Date: February 9, 1966)

    Credit Line

    Gift of John Goelet

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall:25.9 x 21.5 cm (10 3/16 x 8 7/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    66.141

    Medium or Technique

    Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

    Not On View

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    Asia

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  • The Dean's Roll Call

    1899
    Thomas Eakins (American, 1844–1916)

    Description

    Throughout his career, Thomas Eakins cultivated and maintained an intellectual and professional relationship with the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, the city in which he lived and worked. This affiliation included Eakins’s enrollment in anatomy classes and the commissions he received for portraits of noted faculty and alumni—including his most revered work, Portrait of Dr. Samuel D. Gross (The Gross Clinic) (1875, Philadelphia Museum of Art/Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts), depicting the acclaimed professor of surgery. Eakins frequently solicited his own sitters for portraits, preferring intellectuals, educators, and community leaders as his subjects and thus aligning himself within his own professional middle class. The Dean’s Roll Call illustrates both of these attributes, since Eakins actively sought the commission to paint the prominent Dean of Jefferson Medical College.

    Dr. James William Holland, born in Tennessee, was a noted urologist and an alumnus of Jefferson Medical School. In 1885, when Holland was a professor in Louisville, Kentucky, he was invited to take a position in Philadelphia as Professor of Medical Chemistry and Toxicology at Jefferson Medical College. The following year, he was appointed Dean of the School of Medicine, a position he held for thirty years. Approached by Eakins to model for a full-length portrait, Holland agreed to pose in academic dress; the style of the gown and its green trim indicate his academic rank and field of study. His wide-legged stance implies a steady personality and solidity of presence, appropriate for a man of importance. Holland’s spread hands mimic the splay of his feet; he holds a yellow calfskin portfolio containing the roster of names of Jefferson’s graduating students. Typically, Eakins depicted Holland engaged in a professional task, reading from the text in front of him. Holland is in the process of either calling out the names or reading aloud the Hippocratic Oath; both were his responsibility during the College’s Commencement ceremony. According to scholar Lloyd Goodrich, Eakins initially requested that Dr. Holland pose for the portrait in old, worn shoes. [1] However, Mrs. Holland persuaded Eakins that this would not be a realistic rendering of the dean, who always wore new shoes for the Commencement ceremony. Thus, Holland’s shoes are freshly shined in the final portrait.

    The realism of Dr. Holland’s body and his lined face are characteristic of Eakins’s emphasis on the anatomical believability of his portraits. Holland, with feet spread evenly and shoulders back, is firmly grounded within the space of the picture; the weight of his body is believably solid and alive. Eakins emphasizes the realism of his painted space with his perspectively rendered signature, which sits upon the slope of the floor in the lower right. Unromanticized, Holland is shown as tired and serious, with a face somewhat gaunt and eyes which express anxiety or fatigue. Pictured in an odd moment of silence, he gazes off into the distance, perhaps reviewing the line of students coming towards him. In a letter written to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, upon the acquisition of the portrait, Holland’s son recalled:
    [Block quote]
    The sittings began about January and lasted perhaps two months or more. My father was never physically very strong and by that season of the year was always pretty fagged out. What made it worse was that Eakins always insisted that he take the full standing pose, with the light from the skylight full on his face. He would not let him sit down even when working on the head alone. It was quite an ordeal and the result was a tense almost haggard expression. [2]
    [/Block quote]
    Due perhaps in part to Holland’s careworn appearance, Jefferson Medical College declined Eakins’s proposal to purchase the portrait. Instead, they commissioned Adolph Borie, a member of the Cornish Colony of painters centered around Cornish, New Hampshire, to depict Dr. Holland; Borie’s likeness hangs today in the office suite of the dean of the college. With Jefferson’s refusal of his work, Eakins gave the portrait to Mrs. Holland in 1900 with the stipulation that “if at any time the trustees of the Jefferson Medical College may wish to purchase the picture, Mrs. Holland’s ownership of it will not be a bar to selling it.”[3]In that same year, the portrait was displayed at the annual exhibition of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Widely exhibited over the following decades, the picture remained in the collection of the Holland family until 1943, when it was bought by the Museum of Fine Arts from the sitter’s children. It was the first full-length portrait by Eakins to enter the Museum’s collection and is a characteristic example of the penetrating psychological portraits of professional men that Eakins painted during his later years.

    Notes
    1. Lloyd Goodrich, Thomas Eakins (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 1982), 115.
    2. Leicester B. Holland to William George Constable, October 24, 1943, curatorial files, Department of Art of the Americas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
    3. Kathleen A. Foster and Cheryl Leibold, Writing about Eakins: The Manuscripts in Charles Bregler’s Thomas Eakins Collection (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1980), 180.

    Naomi H. Slipp

    Inscription

    Lower right: Eakins/1899.

    Provenance

    1899, painted by the artist in the hope that the Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, would purchase this portrait of its dean; when the college rejected the finished painting, the artist gave it to the sitter's wife, Mrs. James W. Holland, Philadelphia; by descent to their children, Rupert Sargent Holland, Lucy Sargent Holland Putnam, and Leicester Bodine Holland; 1943, sold by Rupert Sargent Holland, Lucy Sargent Holland Putnam, and Leicester Bodine Holland to the MFA for $15,000. (Accession Date: September 9, 1943)

    Credit Line

    A. Shuman Collection—Abraham Shuman Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    213.68 x 106.68 cm (84 1/8 x 42 in.)

    Accession Number

    43.211

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Barbara and Theodore Alfond Gallery (Gallery 234)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Benzaiten, the Goddess of Music and Good Fortune, on a Dragon

    Kiryû Benten zu

    Japanese
    Meiji era
    about 1886
    Artist Hashimoto Gahô (Japanese, 1835–1908)

    Description

    Provenance

    By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850 - d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 3, 1911) NOTES: [1] Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.

    Credit Line

    William Sturgis Bigelow Collection

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    KJM2-Modern-010

    Dimensions

    119.4 x 76.9 cm (47 x 30 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    11.8728

    Medium or Technique

    Panel; ink, color, and gold on paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Asia

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Winged Isis pectoral

    Nubian
    Napatan Period, reign of Amaninatakelebte
    538–519 B.C.

    Findspot: Nuri, Sudan (Nubia)

    Description

    Chased gold pectoral representing the winged goddess Isis, shown kneeling with wings outstretched. In her right hand, she holds an ankh, the symbol for “life”; in her left hand she holds what may be the hieroglyph for a sail, the symbol for the breath of life. On her head is a throne, the hierogyph for her name.

    Provenance

    From Nuri, pyramid 10 (tomb of Amaninatakelebte). 1916: excavated by the Harvard University-Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA by the division of finds with the government of Sudan. (Accession date: March 1, 1920)

    Credit Line

    Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition

    Details

    Dimensions

    Height x length: 6.9 x 17 cm (2 11/16 x 6 11/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    20.276

    Medium or Technique

    Gold

    On View

    Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation Gallery (Gallery 104)

    Collections

    Jewelry, The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Jewelry / Adornment, Pectorals

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  • Statuette of Isis nursing Horus

    Egyptian
    Late Period
    760–332 B.C.

    Findspot: Egypt

    Description

    Bronze statue of Isis suckling Horus. She is seated with Horus on her lap. The tip of the left arm and feet are missing. One of the horns on the headdress is broken off. The surface is corroded.

    Provenance

    Findspot Information: From Giza: G 7632 A pit [Excav. date] Feb. 16, 1925

    Credit Line

    Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition

    Details

    Dimensions

    Height: 8.3 cm (3 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    27.985

    Medium or Technique

    Bronze

    Not On View

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Sculpture

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  • Aegis of Isis

    Egyptian
    Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty 22
    945–712 B.C.

    Description

    Early Egyptologists with a Classical background often drew on vocabulary from Greek mythology to describe Egyptian antiquities for which a suitable term was lacking. They borrowed the word aegis, which refers to the shield or breastplate of Athena, for religious or cult objects shaped like a broadcollar surmounted by the head of a deity. Evidently such a composition reminded them of images from Greek vase painting of Athena with the head of Medusa on her breastplate, serpents swirling around the perimeter.

    This particularly large and ornate aegis represents the goddess Isis. She wears the crown of Upper Egypt over a vulture headdress and a broadcollar with falcon-head terminals and a frieze of uraei along the top. The combination of different metal alloys for contrast was a specialty of the period and serves to point out the intricate patterns of the collar and crown.

    In real life such a heavy collar would have required a counterpoise, called a menat, to keep it in place. Such a counterpoise, heavily decorated, is attached to the back of this aegis by a hinge. The square scene at the top of the menat shows Isis suckling Horus. In Egyptian mythology, Isis took her newborn son Horus to the Delta marshes to hide him from his evil uncle Seth. There she protected him by her magic from snakes and scorpions. The round scene below shows Horus again, represented as a falcon in a papyrus grove flanked by the protective goddesses of the south (the vulture) and the north (the cobra). In both scenes Horus represents the king as recipient of divine sustenance and protection. Such elaborate mythological compositions were popular in Dynasty 22, when the technique of inlaid bronze was also at its height.

    In Egyptian art aegises appear as prow orna-ments on sacred boats and as finials on the top of poles carried in religious processions. They also occur as amulets and on finger rings, or they can be held in the hands of bronze statuettes of goddesses. It is not known how this particular aegis was used. There is no convenient way to hold it. It is perhaps best regarded as a votive offering placed in a temple.

    Provenance

    By 1931: Ellen Day Hale collection, Washington, D.C.; 1931: purchased by the MFA from Ellen Day Hale. (Accession Date: April 1, 1931)

    Credit Line

    Adelia Cotton Williams Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Height x width x depth: 27.5 x 19.2 x 29.3 cm (10 13/16 x 7 9/16 x 11 9/16 in.);

    Accession Number

    31.195

    Medium or Technique

    Bronze with inlays of electrum, silver, and bronze

    On View

    Egyptian Late Period Gallery (Gallery 216)

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Religious and cult objects

    More Info
  • Statuette of Isis nursing Horus

    Egyptian
    Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty 21–25
    1070–656 B.C.

    Description

    Provenance

    Luigi Vassalli Collection (1812-1887); by 1972: Mrs. Horace L. Mayer Collection; 1972: gift of Mrs. Horace L. Mayer.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. Horace L. Mayer

    Details

    Dimensions

    Height x width x depth: 20.5 x 5.3 x 8 cm (8 1/16 x 2 1/16 x 3 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1971.749

    Medium or Technique

    Bronze

    On View

    Egyptian Funerary Arts Gallery (Mummies) (Gallery 109)

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Sculpture

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  • Relief of the gods Amen and Ptah-Sokar-Osiris

    Egyptian
    Hellenistic Period (Ptolemaic Dyn.), reign of Pt
    285–246 B.C.

    Description

    The great temple of Isis, the Iseion, at Behbeit el-Hagar in the central Nile Delta was begun by the last of Egypt’s native pharaohs, Nectanebo II, and was completed by the early Ptolemies, who copied the pharaonic style. In fact, the art of the early Ptolemies continued the traditions of the Nectanebos so closely that without an identifying inscription it is not always possible to tell one from the other. The Iseion has been reduced to a field of ruins, but enough remains to show that it was once a magnificent and luxurious structure, built entirely of granite. The hard stone is carved with virtuoso skill to create various effects. The bare-chested figure of Amen, for example, is rounded and fleshy, and shows how well the tripartite division of chest, rib cage, and abdomen seen in the sculpture of King Achoris translates into relief. The mummiform Ptah-Sokar-Osiris is a real tour de force, with subtle undulations of the surface suggesting the figure beneath the shrouded form. The cherubic facial features of both deities closely resemble Nectanebo’s, yet experts agree that they represent the second Ptolemy.

    Provenance

    By 1951: with Dikran G. Kelekian, Inc.: 1951: purchased by the MFA from the Dikran G. Kelekian estate for $1750. (Accession Date: January 1, 1951)

    Credit Line

    Martha A. Willcomb Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Height x width x length: 82 x 90 x 13 cm (32 5/16 x 35 7/16 x 5 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    51.739

    Medium or Technique

    Granite

    On View

    Egyptian Late Period Gallery (Gallery 216)

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Architectural elements, Relief

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  • Buddha Head

    Gandharan
    Kushan period
    about 3rd century A.D.

    Object Place: Gandhara, Northwestern Pakistan

    Description

    Provenance

    Given to the MFA by Denman Waldo Ross in 1919.

    Credit Line

    Denman Waldo Ross Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 24.4 x 15.2 x 17.8 cm (9 5/8 x 6 x 7 in.)

    Accession Number

    19.802

    Medium or Technique

    Schist

    Not On View

    Collections

    Asia

    Classifications

    Sculpture

    More Info
  • Shakyamuni Buddha with Scenes from His Life

    Indian, Eastern
    Pala period
    11th–12th century

    Object Place: possibly southern Magadha, Bihar, India (Eastern)

    Description

    Provenance

    1924, sold by C.L. Twombly, Boston, MA, to the MFA for $1500. (Accession Date: April 3, 1924)

    Credit Line

    Helen and Alice Colburn Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 75.6 x 38.7 x 13.7 cm, 49 kg (29 3/4 x 15 1/4 x 5 3/8 in., 108 lb.) Framed (1/4" steel angle plate with spacer / secures to pedestal): 44.5 x 61 x 45.7 cm (17 1/2 x 24 x 18 in.)

    Accession Number

    24.153

    Medium or Technique

    Phyllite

    Not On View

    Collections

    Asia

    Classifications

    Sculpture

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