The Charles Townley vase.
Roman, 2nd century AD
Found at a villa at Monte Cagnolo, near Rome.
This marble vase, an adapted form of the Greekvolute-krater, is decorated in high relief with a Bacchic scene, featuring the rustic deity Pan, Bacchus, and both male (satyrs) and female (maenads).
The vase gets its name from the famous collector Charles Townley (AD 1737-1805). Gavin Hamilton, Charles Townley's agent in Italy, describes finding it in numerous fragments together with other sculptures in a large villa at Monte Cagnolo, near Rome, having been '...thrown promiscuously into one room about ten feet under ground'. The vase as you see it today has been reconstructed '...with great attention, as the work deserves.' The restored vase was purchased by Townley for £250 in 1774.
It was once believed that the vase was one of the main inspirations for the Romantic poet John Keats (1795-1821) when he wrote the famous 'Ode on a Grecian Urn'.
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?
John Keats, 'Ode on a Grecian Urn' (1819)
Our sculpture is produced by a unique and proprietary dry casting process. They are made of white Carrara marble and over 90% of the finished sculpture is natural marble which gives it a look and feel of natural marble. They are finished by hand.
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