Cinerary Urn- Art History

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My experience at the DIA led my eye to one piece in particular. It was a Cinerary Urn. What had caught my eye was the blue color with green tinting, and also the design of the urn and the characteristics that were incorporated into the design. It was in very good condition with only a few minor chips that I could see from the front. Only the rim on the top of the urn had a chip out of it about 2 inches long and it was only a sliver. Also the bottom of the urn had a chip out of the base but it still maintains the circular shape. From the description tag in the museum I learned that this was a Cinerary Urn that came from Egypt, North Africa. It was used around the 1st or 2nd A.D. The urn displays a blending of cultures from the Greeks and Romans as were many other works that were produced during the later period of Ancient Egypt. The material that was used to create this is of Faience, or ground quartzite, which is Egyptian in origin. The urn has no writing on it that I could see, it was plain but in that aspect but it had many interesting features such as the lower body is wide on top and narrows slightly going down to the base. It reminds me of a bottom of a snake how the scales overlap one another coiling around the urn. The upper part of the urn is smooth and narrows slightly as it rises, then flares out and lays flat. There are also 2 handles that are slightly coiled that extend from the top part of the lower body of the urn and connect to the bottom side of the flared opening. It is unique design that is pleasing to the eye and the color is brilliant for being almost two thousand years old.

This era in the Egyptians history was not a very good one. They went through many rulers starting with Alexander who built a great city on the mouth of the Nile River. After his demise, his empire split between powerful generals. This led to the final queen of the Ptolemaic line, Cleopatra VII. She fell into a dispute with her half-brother over the...
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