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Cinerary urn
Roman Sculptor
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Roman Sculptor

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Cinerary urn

140 - 150. White marble.
Galería Jónica Planta Principal Norte

This urn served as a recipient for the bones and ashes generated by a public incineration ceremony. The round shape at the back of the urn allowed it to be stored in a semicircular niche in the funerary buildings whose rows of such small hollows led them to be called columbari (dovecotes) in modern times. A beautiful detail of its rich relief ornamentation are the two animals on opposite sides of the urn. Under a tree at the right, a dog with a collar raises his leg while, on the left, we see a hare with long ears, a short tail and a thickly furred neck. All that separates the hunting dog from his prey is the relief on the front of the urn. The names inscribed on this vessel indicate that the parents of the deceased child were of Greek origin and therefore from the east or south of the Roman Empire. The father was named Hermes and was probably a surf, while the mother, Helen, was somewhat more important, socially. Her family name indicates that she was a slave freed from the family of Emperor M. Cocceius Nerva (approx. 30 – 98 A.D.) Her son bears all three names: his praenomen and his family name, along with those of Titus Aurelius Boionius Arrius Antoninus (86-161 A.D.), the future emperor Antonius Pius, from whose family he had been freed, and his cognomen is Greek. The urn’s inscription dates it from the late Hadrian or Anthonian period.

Las criaturas de Prometeo: esculturas clásicas del Museo del Prado, Santander, Fundación Marcelino Botín, 2000, p.132


Technical data

Inventory number
Roman Sculptor
Cinerary urn
140 - 150
White marble
Height: 21 cm; Width: 29 cm; Base/bottom: 24 cm; Weight: 18 Kg
Collection of VII marqués del Carpio, Roma, 1676-1682; Royal Collection (Felipe V's collection, Palacio de La Granja de San Ildefonso, Segovia)

Bibliography +

Hübner, Emil, Die Antiken Bildwerke in Madrid, Druck Und Verlag Von Georg Reimer, Berlín, 1862, pp. 154.

Ricard, Robert, Marbres Antiques du Musee du Prado a Madrid, Feret & Fils, Burdeos, 1923, pp. 105.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de la escultura, Madrid, 1957.

Blanco, Antonio; Lorente, Manuel, Catálogo de la escultura. Museo del Prado, Patronato Nacional de Museos, Madrid, 1981.

Bajo el signo de Fortuna: esculturas clásicas del Museo del Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 1999, pp. 110.

Las criaturas de Prometeo: esculturas clásicas del Museo del Prado, Fundación Marcelino Botín, Santander, 2000, pp. 132.

Schröder, Stephan F., Catálogo de la escultura clásica: Museo del Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2004, pp. 482-484.

Other inventories +

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 344.
344. Una urna cineraria de marmol de carrara sin tapa y con una inscripcion en su frente sobre un pedestal de escayola. Alto 9 pulg; largo 1 pie; alto del pedestal 2 pies.

Inscriptions +

D(iis) M(anibus) / T(ito) AURELIO / CHRYSEROTI / V(ixit) A(nnis) VIII. M(ensibus) III. D(iebus) VIII / COCCEIA HELENE ET / HERMES FIL(io) S(uo) FEC(erunt). [(Consagrado) a los Manes. Cocceya Helena y Hermes pusieron (esta urna) para su hijo Tito Aurelio Crisero, que vivió ocho años, tres meses y oc
Incised. On the front

Exhibitions +

Las criaturas de Prometeo. Bajo el signo de la Fortuna. Esculturas antiguas del Museo del Prado
17.03.2000 - 23.04.2000

Bajo el signo de la fortuna. Esculturas antiguas del Museo del Prado
26.04.1999 - 23.05.1999

Location +

Galería Jónica Planta Principal Norte (On Display)

Update date: 10-05-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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