Greece and Rome

Hidria Pintor de la fuente de Madrid

Women and Rites in Greek Pottery

Project leader: Margarita Moreno Conde

Estimated timeframe: 2014-2015

Greek pottery is a prime resource that opens a window onto the world of women, not only in the privacy of the gynaeceum but also in their more regimented role as participants in city rituals and festivities. The iconographic richness of the MAN’s collection of Greek vases and the diversity of workshops and geographic regions represented makes it an ideal subject for this study. Through the vase decorations, we will analyse the rituals associated with each stage of life, particularly those related to marriage and bereavement, as well as the role of women in different civic religious celebrations.

Lámina de El Museo Español de Antigüedades

The Greek Vase in Recent History: Collections and Collectors

Estimated timeframe: 2014-2015

Project leader: Paloma Cabrera Bonet

The purpose of our research is to document the recent history of the Greek vase collections at the National Archaeological Museum (MAN). We will study the royal collections acquired by Charles III and Charles IV in Italy and entrusted to the great institutions established during the Enlightenment: the Royal Cabinet of Natural History, the Royal Public Library and the Prado Museum. We will also research the formation of other major Greek vase collections of the 19th century, such as those amassed by the Prince of Anglona, the Marquis of Salamanca and Consul Tomás Asensi.

Crátera de volutas, Apulia

The Iconography of Death on Apulian Vases at the MAN

Estimated timeframe: 2013-2015

Project leader: Paloma Cabrera Bonet

The goal of this project is to study the symbolic programme of the final transition of death in the iconography of vases from Apulia (Magna Graecia). These often immense vessels present a tremendously rich and complex iconographic universe that provides multiple insights into funerary landscapes. This symbolic programme comprises hundreds of depictions, images of myths and rituals, but none as straightforward and specific as that of the cemetery presided over by the naiskos or funerary stela, a fundamental symbol that marks the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead. We will analyse the funerary images found in the MAN’s collection of Apulian vases and compare them with the iconographic repertoires of other European collections.

Cratera de cáliz, Apulia

Images of Dionysos in Magna Graecia

Estimated timeframe: 2013-2015

Project leader: Paloma Cabrera Bonet

This project aims to study the images of Dionysus on Greek vases from southern Italy held at the MAN. The workshops of Apulia, Lucania, Campania and Paestum produced hundred of vases painted with images that evoke the Dionysian world and the god of wine and vegetation, of transformation, ecstasy and fervour, the deity of divine possession and madness. The enormous popularity of this theme gives us an idea of the degree to which Dionysian worship and rites, closely associated with the netherworld and the idea of life after death, were embraced by the residents of Greek colonies. The images underscore Dionysos’s role as the god of madness and disinhibition, offering self-liberation and the hope of personal salvation and triumph over death. The study will consist of an iconographic analysis of the vases held at the MAN within the ritual, social and ideological context of Magna Graecia.

 

Lecane, Apulia

Catalogue of Greek Vases from Apulia

Estimated timeframe: 2013-2015

Project leader: Paloma Cabrera Bonet

The MAN’s collection of Apulian vases contains two hundred vessels of varying types, primarily volute and bell kraters, hydriai, lekanides, kylikes and lekythoi. They belong to a number of collections, including those of the Marquis of Salamanca, Asensi, the Prince of Anglona and Várez Fisa. In recent years the museum’s collection has grown with the addition of new pieces acquired on the international antiquities market. Partial studies have appeared in older publications, but this vase collection has never been researched or published in its entirety. Our goal is to systematically catalogue the entire collection and thoroughly research the forms, painters and iconographic themes of these vases.

Tanagra

Catalogue of Greek Terracottas

Estimated timeframe: 2013-2015

Project leader: Margarita Moreno Conde

The collection of Greek terracotta pieces held at the MAN, comprising over one thousand items, was established in the late 19th century primarily thanks to contributions from Theodor Stützel, the Marquis of Salamanca and Consul Asensi. The collection, which focuses on the periods from the sixth to the first century BC, boasts a rich variety of types and provenances, with specimens from the leading terracotta figurine workshops of ancient Greece (Tanagra, Corinth, Attica, Myrina, Cyrenaica, Campania and Taranto). These pieces were published by Alfred Laumonier in 1921, but since then they have been largely ignored aside from a few specific studies. Our goal is to systematically catalogue these pieces and integrate the new acquisitions that have enriched the collection over the last several decades.

Lucerna, Cartago

Roman Artefacts from North Africa and Asia Minor

Estimated timeframe: 2013-2015

Project leader: Ángeles Castellano Hernández

The Greek and Roman Antiquities Department contains a considerable number of artefacts from North Africa and Asia Minor, mostly glass and pottery pieces, which once belonged to private collections and were donated to or purchased by the Spanish government for the museum. Of particular note in this respect are the Stützel collection from 1900 and the Tomás de Asensi collection, acquired in 1876 and comprising pieces from Africa and Asia. The aim is to study these pieces in the context of pottery and glass production in the Roman Empire.

 

Anillo Baelo Claudia

Roman Jewellery from Baelo Claudia

Estimated timeframe: 2014

Project leader: Ángeles Castellano Hernández

Following the excavations of Baelo Claudia conducted by Pierre Paris between 1917 and 1921, all of the archaeological finds entered the permanent collection of this museum. The results of those excavations were published in 1926. Among the discoveries was a small but fascinating collection of gold jewellery found among the grave goods of several tombs in the necropolis of this Hispano-Roman town. This study intends to analyse the pieces from the perspective of both goldsmithing and the Hispano-Roman funerary ritual.

Ánfora de Nola

Music and Musicians in Attic Pottery

Estimated timeframe: 2014

Project leader: Margarita Moreno Conde

Music played a singular role in ancient Greece. An essential aspect of the education of future citizens from early childhood, music not only entertained men in the symposium but was also inextricably bound up with different rituals, both male and female, and music contests were common at the principal Greek agones, like the Pythian Games. The MAN’s collection of Attic pottery includes a significant number of vases dedicated to this theme, some of which have never been published, the study of which will provide a better understanding of the importance of music in Greek life.

Ánfora de figuras negras

Amazon Iconography in the Greek Vase Collection

Estimated timeframe: 2013-2014

Project leader: Margarita Moreno Conde

The Amazon is one of the most singular figures in Greek mythology and the ultimate antithesis of the androcentric Athenian worldview, as the supreme embodiment of “the other”. The theme of Amazons versus Greeks, illustrated in different iconographic schemes, was immensely popular with Attic potters and, to a lesser extent, in south Italic ware. The MAN’s collection of Greek vases includes a goodly number of depictions on a variety of pottery pieces, made by different potteries and painters, which shed light on this unique mythological figure.