On View

Standing Bodhisattva
Standing Bodhisattva

Standing Bodhisattva

Pakistan, ancient region of Gandhara
Kushan period (c. 50 B.C.–A.D. 320)
2nd–3rd century A.D.
Gray schist
59 1/8 x 30 x 10 in. (150.2 x 76.2 x 25.4 cm)
AP 1997.04
With its masterly craftsmanship, harmonious proportions, and exceptional size, this majestic image of a standing bodhisattva is distinguished by the rich dress and jewelry of a Kushana prince or nobleman from the ancient region of Gandhara, in northeastern Pakistan, in the first or second century A.
Seated Buddha with Two Attendants
Seated Buddha with Two Attendants

Seated Buddha with Two Attendants

India, Uttar Pradesh, Mathura
Kushan period (c. 50 B.C.–A.D. 320)
A.D. 82
Red sandstone
36 5/8 x 33 5/8 x 6 5/16 in. (93 x 85.4 x 16 cm)
AP 1986.06
The Kushans ruled much of northwestern India and the ancient region of Gandhara (parts of present-day Pakistan and Afghanistan).
Mummy Mask
Mummy Mask

Mummy Mask

Egypt
Roman period
c. A.D. 120-170
Stucco/gesso with paint, gold leaf, and glass inlays
11 9/16 x 7 5/8 x 5 1/2 in. (29.4 x 19.4 x 14 cm)
AP 1970.05
By the first century B.C., Rome had come to dominate the Mediterranean world. The influence of Roman funerary art and practices is very much apparent in this Egyptian mask.
Priestess of the Imperial Cult
Priestess of the Imperial Cult

Priestess of the Imperial Cult

Roman
2nd century A.D.
A.D. 170–180
Marble
13 1/4 x 10 5/8 x 9 5/8 in. (33.6 x 27 x 24.5 cm)
AP 1969.18
This head of a young woman was originally part of a full-length, draped statue. It was formerly identified as a portrait of Faustina the Younger, wife of the emperor Marcus Aurelius and daughter of Antoninus Pius.
Portrait of Emperor Marcus Aurelius
Portrait of Emperor Marcus Aurelius

Portrait of Emperor Marcus Aurelius

Roman
3rd century
c. A.D. 210–225
Marble (probably from Carrara, Italy)
14 3/8 x 9 7/8 x 10 1/4 in. (36.5 x 25.1 x 26 cm)
AP 1967.11
The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius (reigned A.D. 161–80), the archetypal “philosopher-king,” is perhaps best known today as the author of the Stoic philosophical treatise The Meditations.
Conch Shell Trumpet
Conch Shell Trumpet

Conch Shell Trumpet

Guatemala, Maya culture
Early Classic period (A.D. 250–600)
c. A.D. 250–400
Shell with traces of cinnabar
H. 11 9/16 in. (29.3 cm); Diam. 5 1/4 in. (13.4 cm)
AP 1984.11
This elaborately decorated conch shell bears the face of a Maya king, carefully incised following the undulations in the shell’s surface, and a column of glyphs to the side recording the name of its royal owner.
Bearded Man
Bearded Man

Bearded Man

Syria
5th century
c. A.D. 400
Mosaic
22 1/4 x 21 1/8 in. (56.5 x 53.7 cm)
AP 1972.19
The identity of this image of a bearded man is unknown. His iconic, frontal pose and serene expression perhaps indicate that he is meant to represent a biblical figure, though not all church decoration at this time was overtly Christian in iconography.
Chalice (?) with Two Strands of Ivy (?)
Chalice (?) with Two Strands of Ivy (?)

Chalice (?) with Two Strands of Ivy (?)

Syria
5th century
c. A.D. 400
Mosaic
18 1/16 x 19 in. (45.8 x 48.2 cm)
AP 1972.22
This chalice is a flattened, schematized image of a vessel with a hemispherical bottom from which rises a hollow stem with two strands of ivy streaming from the top.
Parrot
Parrot

Parrot

Syria
5th century
c. A.D. 400
Mosaic
13 3/4 x 19 3/4 in. (35 x 50.2 cm)
AP 1972.21
This schematized image of a bird depicts a parrot with a red beak and legs. Black tesserae outline a body predominantly composed of green tesserae with red and yellow around the black pupil of the eye, two yellow tones on the wing, and two gray tones on the underbody.
Peacock
Peacock

Peacock

Syria
5th century
c. A.D. 400
Mosaic
16 3/4 x 20 1/4 in. (42.5 x 51.4 cm)
AP 1972.23
In early Christian art, the peacock symbolized immortality. This peacock might have carried this meaning, or it may have referred to worldly pride and vanity. This schematized image, with black eye, legs, and beak, faces toward the viewer’s right. The head, body, and wings are outlined in black.
Peacock and a Flower
Peacock and a Flower

Peacock and a Flower

Syria
5th century
c. A.D. 400
Mosaic
24 11/16 x 39 in. (62.7 x 99.1 cm)
AP 1972.18
In Early Christian art, the peacock symbolized immortality and was therefore an appropriate element in the decoration of a church. The accompanying flower probably alludes to God’s bountiful creation.
Rooster
Rooster

Rooster

Syria
5th century
c. A.D. 400
Mosaic
14 3/4 x 23 1/4 in. (37.5 x 59 cm)
AP 1972.20
As a rooster or cock, this long-necked bird with a red beak and wattle might allude to the episode of a rooster crowing in the Denial of Peter; as such, it would symbolize Peter’s repentance. This schematized image of a bird faces toward the viewer’s right.
Royal Belt Ornament
Royal Belt Ornament

Royal Belt Ornament

Possibly Guatemala, Maya culture
Early Classic period (A.D. 250–600)
c. A.D. 400–500
Pale gray-green jade
9 1/4 × 3 × 1/8 in. (23.5 × 7.6 × 0.3 cm)
AP 2004.05
This exquisitely decorated jade belt ornament originally formed part of a royal costume that included a belt assemblage consisting of three such pendants. One side represents a full-length profile portrait of a young Maya ruler richly attired in the regalia associated with enthronement.
Singing Priest or God
Singing Priest or God

Singing Priest or God

Mexico, Valley of Mexico, Teotihuacán culture
Early Classic period (A.D. 250–600)
c. A.D. 400–600
Fresco
23 11/16 x 43 1/2 in. (60.2 x 110.5 cm)
AP 1972.16
The city of Teotihuacán, located about thirty miles northeast of Mexico City,was the capital of the first classical civilization of Mesoamerica, dating from around the first to the seventh century A.D.
Tripod Vessel with Lid
Tripod Vessel with Lid

Tripod Vessel with Lid

Guatemala, Maya culture
Early Classic period (A.D. 250–600)
c. A.D. 400–500
Ceramic with stucco and polychrome pigments
H. 11 in. (27.9 cm); Diam. 6 1/4 in. (15.9 cm)
AP 1997.01
The art of the Maya is principally the art of the ruling elite. Vessels were made to honor and commemorate once-living rulers and to venerate their gods and ancestors; these objects, laden with power and symbolism, were then buried in tombs alongside their royal or noble owners.
Urn in the Form of Cociyo, God of Lightning and Rain
Urn in the Form of Cociyo, God of Lightning and Rain

Urn in the Form of Cociyo, God of Lightning and Rain

Mexico, Oaxaca, Monte Albán IIIa, Zapotec culture
Early Classic period (A.D. 250–600)
c. A.D. 400–500
Ceramic
28 1/2 x 21 x 18 in. (72.4 x 53.3 x 45.7 cm)
AP 1985.09
The primary capital of Zapotec culture was the ceremonial site of Monte Albán (in the modern state of Oaxaca), where the Zapotecs worshipped a complex pantheon of nature gods.

Pages