The Portland Vase

Front Cover
British Museum Press, 2004 - Art - 64 pages
The Portland Vase, probably made during the reign of the Roman emperor Augustus (27 BC-AD 14), has been considered the most beautiful cameo glass vessel surviving from antiquity. A work of outstanding technical skill, it is decorated with scenes of love and marriage, the precise meaning of which has been reinterpreted countless times. This book offers an exciting new reading of the vase, setting it in the context of the dramatic relationships between the houses of Octavian, Antony and Cleopatra. It also explores the lively history of the vase, from the earliest records in Italy to its purchase by Sir William Hamilton and the dukes of Portland, and its abiding influence on British craftsmen such as Wedgwood.

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About the author (2004)

Susan Walker is Keeper of Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

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