Ancient Worlds in Stockholm Part One: Greece & Rome

The Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Clearly if a town has a museum dedicated to the ancient world, I’m there.  And I’ll probably be there for a long time.  And I was at the Mediterranean Museum for much longer than I expected –  and still didn’t see the entire collection.  I totally missed the Islamic section, which was a bummer, especially since it contains some important bronzes discovered in Luristan, Iran.  Nevertheless, I very much enjoyed what I saw, and the quality of some of the exhibits was extraordinary.

It was in 1954 that the museum was founded – an Act of Parliament, no less, brought it into existence to basically house the collections of the Swedish Cyprus Expedition 1927-1931, as well as an Ancient Egyptian collection.  While these form the core of the museum, there have been many other donations from diplomats, travellers and royalty to create a more broad display of objects from the Mediterranean world, including the Greek vases of King Gustav III, which he acquired during his trip to Italy in 1783/4.

The impressive display space of the Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

The impressive display space of the Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Modern and classical gallery of the Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Modern and classical gallery of the Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Modern architecture - ancient art in the Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Modern architecture – ancient art in the Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Roman Era

The Roman collection on display is not large, but it is impressive in quality – mainly because quite a few of the objects are from Rome and from Ostia, which was Rome’s harbour.

Relief showing two men unloading amphoras from a sailing ship, 2nd century AD, Ostia, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Relief showing two men unloading amphoras from a sailing ship, 2nd century AD, Ostia, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Loculus marking a burial niche, mid 2nd century AD, Ostia, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden.  Wool merchant and various phases of wool production. "Titus Aelius Evangelus prepared this for himself and for his dearly loved wife, Ulpia Fortunata. Ulpius Telesphorus has received permission to be buried in the same place. Titus Aelius Evangelus has also given Gaudenia Marcellina, his biological daughter, permission to be buried here".

Loculus marking a burial niche, mid 2nd century AD, Ostia, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden.  Wool merchant and various phases of wool production. “Titus Aelius Evangelus prepared this for himself and for his dearly loved wife, Ulpia Fortunata. Ulpius Telesphorus has received permission to be buried in the same place. Titus Aelius Evangelus has also given Gaudenia Marcellina, his biological daughter, permission to be buried here”.

Funerary Altar, mid 1st century AD, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden.  "To the spirits of the deceased. For Caecilia Tyche, his wife and for himself Tiberius Claudius Fortunatus had this erected"

Funerary Altar, mid 1st century AD, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden.  “To the spirits of the deceased. For Caecilia Tyche, his wife and for himself Tiberius Claudius Fortunatus had this erected.”

Elderly Man, c270 AD, Rome, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Elderly Man, c270 AD, Rome, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

IMG_1950

Elderly Man, c270 AD, Rome, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

IMG_1951

Female Portrait, late 1st century AD, Rome, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Sarcophagus, 3rd century AD, Rome, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Sarcophagus, 3rd century AD, Rome, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Detail of the central panel of a sarcophagus, 3rd century AD, Rome, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden.  I love the two dudes in discussion at the bottom - I particularly like the way they are both sitting on different style stools.

Detail of the central panel of a sarcophagus, 3rd century AD, Rome, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden.  I love the two dudes in discussion at the bottom – I particularly like the way they are both sitting on different style stools.

Portrait of a Woman, 3rd century AD, probably North Syrian, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden.  She might have lost her nose, but she still has her pretty earrings.

Portrait of a Woman, 3rd century AD, probably North Syrian, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden.  She might have lost her nose, but she still has her pretty earrings.

Relief showing urban life, c300 AD, Rome, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Relief showing urban life, c300 AD, Rome, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

IMG_1957

Detail of woman hanging out her washing, from the relief showing urban life, c300 AD, Rome, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Commodus, c177 AD, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Commodus, c177 AD, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Bust of Prophet/Poet/Philosopher, 5th century AD, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Bust of Prophet/Poet/Philosopher, 5th century AD, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Roman torso, 1st century BC, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Roman torso, 1st century BC, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Fresco fragment, c1st century AD, possibly from Pompeii, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Fresco fragment, c1st century AD, possibly from Pompeii, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Portrait of a Priest, Palmyra, c100-200 AD, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Portrait of a Priest, Palmyra, c100-200 AD, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Burial Portrait, 150-200 AD, Palmyra, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Burial Portrait, 150-200 AD, Palmyra, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Detail of the burial portrait, 150-200 AD, Palmyra, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Detail of the burial portrait, 150-200 AD, Palmyra, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Greek Works

Most of the Greek art on display is actually from Cyprus, which I have made a separate post for, but there are also some objects from other parts of the Greek world.

Donkey headed rhyton, second half of 5th century BC, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Donkey headed rhyton, second half of 5th century BC, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Look into my eyes.... Greek owl on a Kylix, c450BC, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Look into my eyes…. Greek owl on a Kylix, c450BC, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Greek statuette of Aphrodite and Eros, terracotta, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Greek statuette of Aphrodite and Eros, terracotta, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Hellenistic wreath, gold, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Hellenistic wreath, gold, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Hellenistic wreath of leaves, gold, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Hellenistic wreath of leaves, gold, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden

Etruscan Pyxis, c600-400 BC, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden.  Glass not original.

Etruscan Pyxis, c600-400 BC, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden.  Glass not original.

…please click here for Part Two on Cyprus…

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