Permanent Collection

Pair of Winged Deities are fragments of two such full-length figures enacting a magic purification or protective ritual, in which winged griffin-demons (apkallu, “sages”) or winged anthropomorphic deities, holding ritual “buckets” and pinecone-shaped objects, flank a “Sacred Tree” that they sprinkle with holy water or pollen.
Pair of Winged Deities
Pair of Winged Deities
Pair of Winged Deities are fragments of two such full-length figures enacting a magic purification or protective ritual, in which winged griffin-demons (apkallu, “sages”) or winged anthropomorphic deities, holding ritual “buckets” and pinecone-shaped objects, flank a “Sacred Tree” that they sprinkle with holy water or pollen.

Pair of Winged Deities

Assyria (Iraq)
Reign of Ashurnasirpal II (883–859 B.C.)
c. 874-860 B.C.
Gypsum
a: 36 1/4 x 27 9/16 in. (92 x 70 cm) b: 35 11/16 x 28 15/16 in. (90.7 x 73.5 cm)
AP 1981.04 a,b
The Northwest Palace of Ashurnasirpal II (reigned 883–859 b.c.) at Nimrud (ancient Kalhu) is the earliest of the surviving royal residences of the Assyrian kings, lavishly decorated with monumental gateway figures and reliefs, whose discovery in the mid-nineteenth century created a sensation through
Jar with Stamped Decoration has an unusually wide, buoyant form and is decorated with three bands of delicately stamped geometric designs: a wave pattern of fine, closely spaced lines around the mouth; a “waffle” pattern where double parallel lines crisscross to form multiple squares on the shoulder; and hatched squares aligned diagonally on the body. There are small handles on either side of the jar's shoulders.
Jar with Stamped Decoration
Jar with Stamped Decoration
Jar with Stamped Decoration has an unusually wide, buoyant form and is decorated with three bands of delicately stamped geometric designs: a wave pattern of fine, closely spaced lines around the mouth; a “waffle” pattern where double parallel lines crisscross to form multiple squares on the shoulder; and hatched squares aligned diagonally on the body. There are small handles on either side of the jar's shoulders.

Jar with Stamped Decoration

China, probably Jiangxi province
Eastern Zhou dynasty (770–221 B.C.)
7th–4th century B.C.
High-fired earthenware
H. 10 3/8 in. (26.4 cm); Diam. 15 3/4 in. (40 cm)
AP 1996.06
The ceramics of the early first millennium B.C. from Jiangxi province in central China are characterized by stamped or impressed geometric designs on high-fired earthenwares, predominantly on vessels of simple forms with high shoulders, short necks, and broad mouths.
This Cylinder Seal with King Holding Two Lions made of chalcedony shows a bearded king holding lions aloft by their hind legs, standing atop a pair of human-headed sphinxes
Cylinder Seal with King Holding Two Lions
Cylinder Seal with King Holding Two Lions
This Cylinder Seal with King Holding Two Lions made of chalcedony shows a bearded king holding lions aloft by their hind legs, standing atop a pair of human-headed sphinxes

Cylinder Seal with King Holding Two Lions

Persia (Iran)
Achaemenian period (539–331 B.C.)
c. 5th century B.C. (reign of Darius)
Chalcedony
H. 1 3/16 in. (3 cm); Diam. 5/8 in. (1.6 cm)
AP 2001.05
This seal shows a bearded king holding lions aloft by their hind legs, standing atop a pair of human-headed sphinxes. On either side of this group is a standing archer, holding a bow and arrows in his hands, standing on a winged griffin.
Detail of upper legs to head of Standing Female. The sculpture is conceived frontally with a flat back
Standing Female
Standing Female
Detail of upper legs to head of Standing Female. The sculpture is conceived frontally with a flat back

Standing Female

Cyprus
Archaic period (700–475 B.C.)
c. 500–475 B.C.
Sandy limestone
18 9/16 x 5 1/16 x 2 1/2 in. (47.2 x 12.8 x 6.4 cm)
AG 1980.02
This serene columnar sculpture may represent a goddess or votary. Conceived frontally with a flat back, the figure holds a flower to her breast with her right hand, while grasping another object at her left side. She wears an elegantly designed headcloth and necklace of Near Eastern origin.
Wreathed Male Head with the idealized facial structure and enigmatic smile resembling contemporary Greek sculpture, while the wide, almond-shaped eyes and tightly knotted curls
Wreathed Male Head
Wreathed Male Head
Wreathed Male Head with the idealized facial structure and enigmatic smile resembling contemporary Greek sculpture, while the wide, almond-shaped eyes and tightly knotted curls

Wreathed Male Head

Cyprus
Archaic period (700–475 B.C.)
c. 500–475 B.C.
Sandstone
6 5/16 x 4 15/16 in. (16 x 12.5 cm)
AP 1972.05
Crowned with a laurel wreath symbolic of victory, this small head was carved during the most creative period of Cypriot art, when the island of Cyprus was a mercantile crossroads between East and West.
Red-Figure Lekythos Showing Eros in the Role of Archer is a one-handled oil jug showing Eros, the god of love, in his role of archer. It shows artist’s typical poise and balance while retaining the potentiality for sudden movement: the figure is set frontally, his weight on his right, forward-moving foot, while his head turns back in profile as he draws his bow.
Red-Figure Lekythos Showing Eros in the Role of Archer
Red-Figure Lekythos Showing Eros in the Role of Archer
Red-Figure Lekythos Showing Eros in the Role of Archer is a one-handled oil jug showing Eros, the god of love, in his role of archer. It shows artist’s typical poise and balance while retaining the potentiality for sudden movement: the figure is set frontally, his weight on his right, forward-moving foot, while his head turns back in profile as he draws his bow.

Red-Figure Lekythos Showing Eros in the Role of Archer

Attributed to Brygos Painter
Greek (active c. 490–470 B.C.)
Late Archaic period (500–480 B.C.)
c. 490–480 B.C.
Terracotta
H. 13 1/2 in. (34.3 cm); Diam. 5 5/16 in. (13.5 cm)
AP 1984.16
The image on this lekythos (one-handled oil jug) marks the earliest known appearance of Eros, the god of love, in his role of archer. It predates by forty to fifty years the representation of the subject on one of the east metopes of the Parthenon.
Red-Figure Cup Showing the Death of Pentheus (exterior) and a Maenad (interior)
Red-Figure Cup Showing the Death of Pentheus (exterior) and a Maenad (interior)

Red-Figure Cup Showing the Death of Pentheus (exterior) and a Maenad (interior)

Douris (painter)
Greek (active c. 500–460 B.C.)
Late Archaic period (500–480 B.C.)
c. 480 B.C.
Terracotta
H. 5 in. (12.7 cm); Diam. 11 1/2 in. (29.2 cm)
AP 2000.02
On the exterior of this cup, one of the finest surviving vases of the early Classical period, we witness the gruesome death of Pentheus, a mythical king of Thebes who had offended the god Dionysos by denying his divinity and forbidding his worship.
Jar with Ribbed Decoration with a combination of incised lines and raised bands or ribs
Jar with Ribbed Decoration
Jar with Ribbed Decoration
Jar with Ribbed Decoration with a combination of incised lines and raised bands or ribs

Jar with Ribbed Decoration

China, probably Zhejiang province
Warring States period (475–221 B.C.)
4th century B.C.
Stoneware with yellowish green glaze
H. 9 5/8 in. (24.5 cm); Diam.14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm)
AP 1995.08
From the end of the Warring States period through the Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 220), glazed stoneware vessels were routinely produced in northern Zhejiang and southern Jiangsu provinces to serve as funerary storage jars.
detail of Young Female Attendant, which shares the ceremonious and solemn air of the maidens from the famous frieze of the Parthenon
Young Female Attendant
Young Female Attendant
detail of Young Female Attendant, which shares the ceremonious and solemn air of the maidens from the famous frieze of the Parthenon

Young Female Attendant

Greece, Attica (?)
Late Classical period (400–300 B.C.)
c. 340–330 B.C.
Marble
46 x 18 1/2 x 10 1/2 in. (116.9 x 47 x 26.7 cm)
AP 1972.03
This sculpture is probably one of a group of votary figures that originally accompanied the statue of a goddess. Although it dates from a century later than the maidens from the famous frieze of the Parthenon, it shares their ceremonious and solemn air.
Head is an unadorned yet elegant version of a Nok style. Head  shows relatively simple features delineated in the smooth surface and a caplike coiffure reaches from ear to ear. The eyes, nostrils, and a spot beneath the covered ears are pierced.
Head
Head
Head is an unadorned yet elegant version of a Nok style. Head  shows relatively simple features delineated in the smooth surface and a caplike coiffure reaches from ear to ear. The eyes, nostrils, and a spot beneath the covered ears are pierced.

Head

Africa, Northern Nigeria, Nok culture
c. 500 B.C.–A.D. 500
c. 285 B.C.–A.D. 515
Terracotta
12 3/4 x 6 3/4 x 7 in. (32.4 x 17.2 x 17.8 cm)
AP 1996.04
This unadorned yet elegant head represents a strain of Nok art differentiated from the typically more energized Nok style, perhaps of a type produced in another area. Sculpted in the round, it is most likely broken at the neck from a full figure.
Horse and Rider shows a boldly sculpted and precisely rendered horse, suggesting the physical attributes of the Samanthian breed. The rider’s face is characteristic of the period, with simple and abbreviated, yet naturally modeled. Both enhanced by the addition of colorful pigments, which delineate the rider’s costume and the horse’s saddle and harness
Horse and Rider
Horse and Rider
Horse and Rider shows a boldly sculpted and precisely rendered horse, suggesting the physical attributes of the Samanthian breed. The rider’s face is characteristic of the period, with simple and abbreviated, yet naturally modeled. Both enhanced by the addition of colorful pigments, which delineate the rider’s costume and the horse’s saddle and harness

Horse and Rider

China, probably Shaanxi province
Western Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 9)
2nd–1st century B.C.
Earthenware with painted polychrome decoration
22 5/8 x 21 1/2 x 6 5/8 in. (57.5 x 54.6 x 16.8 cm)
AP 1994.07
Tombs of the Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D.. 220) were typically furnished with model figures and other objects believed to be necessary for a safe journey to the afterlife.
Detail of Male Figure's head and shoulders with complex hairstyle,  composed of three rows of seven conical buns, with larger hemispherical caps over the ears, and lavish adornments of necklaces, jewelry, and beaded chains
Male Figure
Male Figure
Detail of Male Figure's head and shoulders with complex hairstyle,  composed of three rows of seven conical buns, with larger hemispherical caps over the ears, and lavish adornments of necklaces, jewelry, and beaded chains

Male Figure

Africa, Northern Nigeria, Nok culture
c. 500 B.C.–A.D. 500
c. 195 B.C.–A.D. 205
Terracotta
19 1/2 x 8 3/4 x 6 5/8 in. (49.5 x 22.2 x 16.8 cm)
AP 1996.03
Nok terracottas are the earliest known sculptures from ancient Nigeria. Sculptures of this kind were first discovered in 1943 by Bernard Fagg near the northern Nigerian village of Nok, after which the culture that produced them was named.
The distinctive, plump ovoid form of the Cocoon-Shaped Jar with Cloud-Scroll Design imitates the silkworm’s cocoon.
Cocoon-Shaped Jar with Cloud-Scroll Design
Cocoon-Shaped Jar with Cloud-Scroll Design
The distinctive, plump ovoid form of the Cocoon-Shaped Jar with Cloud-Scroll Design imitates the silkworm’s cocoon.

Cocoon-Shaped Jar with Cloud-Scroll Design

China, possibly Luoyang, Henan province
Western Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 9)
Late 2nd or early 1st century B.C.
Earthenware with painted polychrome decoration
11 1/2 x 13 1/8 x 9 1/4 in. (29.2 x 33.3 x 23.5 cm)
AP 1995.02
This handsome jar would have served as a mortuary object (mingqi), placed in a tomb as a substitute for the more valuable bronze and lacquer vessels used in daily life.
Head of an Athlete (Apoxyomenos), in which the lips were originally overlaid with copper, and the eyes inlaid with stone, glass, and metal
Head of an Athlete (Apoxyomenos)
Head of an Athlete (Apoxyomenos)
Head of an Athlete (Apoxyomenos), in which the lips were originally overlaid with copper, and the eyes inlaid with stone, glass, and metal

Head of an Athlete (Apoxyomenos)

Hellenistic or Roman
probably after Lysippos (Greek, c. 365–c. 310 B.C.)
c. 2nd–1st century B.C.
Cast bronze
11 1/2 × 8 1/4 × 10 3/4 in. (29.2 × 21 × 27.3 cm) With base: 20 1/4 × 8 1/4 × 10 3/4 in. (51.44 × 20.96 × 27.31 cm) Weight: 36.6 lb. (16.6 kg)
AP 2000.03 a,b
This exceptionally fine and rare head comes from the statue of an athlete shown scraping oil from his naked body with a strigil after exercising. The lips were originally overlaid with copper, and the eyes inlaid with stone, glass, and metal.
Crouching Aphrodite shown crouching to bathe. She would have had her head turned sharply to the right, her left arm brought across the body to touch the right thigh, and her right arm held up to near the left breast and shoulder.
Crouching Aphrodite
Crouching Aphrodite
Crouching Aphrodite shown crouching to bathe. She would have had her head turned sharply to the right, her left arm brought across the body to touch the right thigh, and her right arm held up to near the left breast and shoulder.

Crouching Aphrodite

Roman, based on a Greek original of c. 3rd–2nd century B.C.
Late Republican–Early Imperial (1st cent. B.C.–2nd cent. A.D.)
c. 50 B.C.–A.D. 140
Marble
25 x 13 7/8 x 19 3/8 in. (63.5 x 35.3 x 49.2 cm)
AP 1967.09
According to the primal Greek myth recounted in Hesiod’s Theogony (genealogy of the gods), Aphrodite, the goddess of love, was born of the aphros, the foam created when Kronos threw the genitals of his father, Uranos (Heaven), into the sea.
Head of Meleager, shown in keeping with  Skopas’s innovations of  the slightly parted lips, the low forehead that protrudes over the bridge of the nose and eyes, and the heavy roll of flesh swelling over the outer corners of the eyes. These features contribute to an expression of of barely suppressed agitation
Head of Meleager
Head of Meleager
Head of Meleager, shown in keeping with  Skopas’s innovations of  the slightly parted lips, the low forehead that protrudes over the bridge of the nose and eyes, and the heavy roll of flesh swelling over the outer corners of the eyes. These features contribute to an expression of of barely suppressed agitation

Head of Meleager

After Skopas
Greek (c. 370–330 B.C.)
Late Republican–Early Imperial (1st cent. B.C.–2nd cent. A.D.)
50 B.C.–A.D. 100
Marble
11 3/4 x 8 x 9 1/2 in. (29.8 x 20.3 x 24.1 cm)
AP 1967.10
This head is from a Roman copy of a full-length statue by the famed fourth-century-B.C. Greek sculptor Skopas. It showed the mythological hero Meleager with a hunting dog and the head of the Kalydonian boar.

Pages