October 2017- 14 January 2018
In 2013 and 2015, the Spanish government acquired a set of vases and terracotta pieces made in the fourth century BC in Magna Graecia (what is now southern Italy) for the National Archaeological Museum.
Cultural assets are acquired to fulfil the government’s constitutional obligation to increase the nation’s cultural heritage. The state acquired these pieces, offered for sale on Spanish and international markets, in consideration of their artistic and historical value. The MAN collection was thus enriched by the addition of five extraordinary artefacts that document essential aspects of Greek pottery production, society and religion and can now be enjoyed by everyone.
Canosa, a small indigenous but strongly Hellenised village in Magna Graecia, enjoyed a privileged economic position in the fourth and third centuries BC thanks to its wine production and wool industry. This prosperity was splendidly reflected in its lavish funerary monuments and grave goods. The workshops of Canosa produced polychrome vases and terracottas characterised by monumental compositions, which were joined in the tombs by red-figure pottery wares acquired in colonial cities. Funerary settings were dominated by images of Greek myths and scenes related to the journey to the afterlife, the dead man as a hero and other themes associated with religious beliefs that were common throughout Magna Graecia.
Greek and Roman Antiquities Department