The Portland Vase
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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Actium admired ancient cameos Antony's Athens Barberini family Barberini Vase base disc black jasperware blue glass Britain British craftsmen British Museum British Museum's restorer cameo glass Capitelli Cardinal del Monte Carpegna Cameo Cassiano dal Pozzo casts catalogue century the vase ceramic Charles Townley collection collector commissioned context decorated Detail of figure Dionysos drawings Duchess of Portland Duke of Portland early Egypt eighteenth century engravings Erechtheum eventually figure F glass industry Grand Tour identified James Byres jasperware John Doubleday Josiah Wedgwood Julia Mamaea Lazzaro marble Monte del Grano Nicolas de Peiresc Octavian offered Palazzo Paper Museum plaques Portland Vase Portland Vase fig precious stone probably published reading replica Rhea Silvia Roman Antiquities Roman cameo glass Roman emperor Augustus Rome Rubens sarcophagus scholars sculpture seventeenth century Severus Alexander Severus Alexander's side Sir William Hamilton story survive from antiquity Susan Walker Teti tomb Vase played vessel visitors white glass