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Harvard Art Museums / Fogg Museum | Bush-Reisinger Museum | Arthur M. Sackler Museum
This statue, from an ancient Roman villa on the coast north of Rome, was part of a sculptural program there that celebrated Greek culture, displaying the sophisticated taste of the wealthy villa owner. The figure’s forceful body, turned head, and emotional facial features recall works attributed to Skopas of Paros, a Greek sculptor of the fourth century BCE. Similar statues, also associated with Skopas, represent the mythical hunter Meleager with boar’s head trophy and dog. As the object under the left armpit is most likely not a hunting spear, this statue probably depicts a different hero, or perhaps a god. It may be a Roman variant of a statue by Skopas, or a Roman work in the style of his time. In Greek fashion, it is composed to be seen in the round, and presents us with a flawless nude male body that is meant to express both physical capability and quality of character.
Identification and Creation Object Number 1926.48 People After Skopas, Greek (active mid 4th century BCE)
Title Youthful Hero or God Other Titles Former Title: Statue of Meleager, Roman copy of a 4th-century BC Greek original Classification Sculpture Work Type sculpture, statue Date 1st-2nd century CE Places Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe
Find Spot: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe, Latium Period Roman Imperial period Culture Roman Persistent Link https://hvrd.art/o/303674 Location Level 3, Room 3200, Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Art, Classical Sculpture
View this object's location on our interactive map Physical Descriptions Medium Parian marble Technique Carved Dimensions H. 123 x W. 63 x D. 42 cm (48 7/16 x 24 13/16 x 16 9/16 in.)
weight: 235.4169 kg (519 lbs.) Provenance Urbano Sacchetti, Santa Marinella, Italy, (1895-1899), sold to Edith Forbes (Mrs. Kenneth Grant Tremayne Webster), (by 1899-1926), by bequest to Fogg Art Museum, 1926. Acquisition and Rights Credit Line Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Mrs. K. G. T. Webster Accession Year 1926 Object Number 1926.48 Division Asian and Mediterranean Art Contact [email protected] The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request. Descriptions Commentary This youthful hero or god is possibly modeled on a Greek statue of the 4th century BCE.
Published Catalogue Text: Stone Sculptures: The Greek, Roman and Etruscan Collections of the Harvard University Art Museums , written 1990
Statue of a Young God or Hero, Usually Identified as Meleager, head and torso
The arms from above the elbows and the legs at the upper thighs are missing. The head is broken at the base of the neck. Part of the nose, right ear, and right eyebrow and parts of the hair have been broken off. There is some surface chipping. Puntelli are visible on the left hip, left thigh, and left buttock. The statue was cleaned and the head rejoined in 1961—1962 by the Department of Conservation and Technical Studies at the Harvard University Art Museums.
A good number of copies of the lost original (which was probably in bronze) show a Greek hero, with a head like those of Skopas and a body influenced by the work of Lysippos, either leaning on a staff or with a spear against the left shoulder. The presence of a boar's head by the left foot and, seemingly, a hound at the subject's right side, plus the relationship to Skopas's sculptures for the temple of Tegea, have given rise to the identification of the subject as Meleager, hunter of the Calydonian boar, and the sculptor as Skopas.
While the original and its numerous, variant copies all show an ideal hero and have nothing to do with Greek portraiture, a head from a statue, now at Houghton Hall in Norfolk, was carved as a likeness of a Hellenistic ruler, surely a Seleucid. The marble was a copy of the Antonine period after an original based on Skopas's statue (Oehler, 1980, p. 73, no. 66, pl. 22).
Along with the head and torso of the statue as rejoined (most recently in 1961-1962) came eighteen fragments that may belong to the base (Hanfmann, Pedley, 1964, p. 62). Three fragments joined to form the hero's lower leg. Another fragment is part of the thigh. Two fragments seem to have been parts of Meleager's dog and boar's head and three fragments joined to form what might have been part of the stick(?) on which Meleager leaned and part of a chlamys falling down the left arm.
The chief difference in the Harvard copy and its mate from Santa Marinella in Berlin, one of the touchstones for the group of copies, is that the javelin held in the left hand has been replaced by a staff lodged under the left arm. The feeling is that both the boar's head and the dog were part of the original composition in bronze, the latter beside the hero's right leg and the former by his left foot.
While the more slender and youthful "boy victor" (Narcissus) after Polykleitos could be identified as Adonis when a boar's head was added to the support on which the lad leaned, there is no question here that the more mature, more formidable figure of Meleager was intended, not the least reason being that a Meleager based on this Skopasian statue appears frequently as the protagonist on sarcophagi.
Cornelius Vermeule and Amy Brauer
Luigi Borsari, "Santa Marinella", Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, R. Accademia dei Lincei (Rome, Italy, 1895), pp. 195-201, figs. 1,2
Salomon Reinach, Répertoire de la statuaire grecque et romaine, Editions Ernst Leroux (Paris, 1908 - 1930), Vol. 4, p. 555, no. 6.
George H. Chase, Greek and Roman Sculpture in American Collections, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1924), pp. 86ff., figs. 97, 101
George H. Chase and Chandler R. Post, History of Sculpture, Harper and Brothers Publishers (New York, NY and London, England, 1925), pp. 119f., fig. 63
Ernst Buschor, "Varianten", Antike Plastik: Walther Amelung zum sechzigsten Geburtstag, Walter de Gruyter and Co. (Berlin and Leipzig, 1928), p. 55, pl. IV
Carl Blummel, Romische Kopien griechischer Skulpturen des funften Jahrhunderts v. Chr., H. Schoetz and Co. (Berlin, Germany, 1938), p. 22 (on the findspot of the Harvard and Berlin Meleagers at Santa Marinella)
George M. A. Hanfmann, An Exhibition of Ancient Sculpture, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1950), no. 185
George M. A. Hanfmann, Greek Art and Life, An Exhibition Catalogue, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1950), no. 185.
Georg Lippold, Handbuch der Archaologie VI, 3, Die Griechische Plastik, C. H. Beck (Munich, Germany, 1950), p. 289, note 6
Gisela M.A. Richter, The Sculpture and Sculptors of the Greeks, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT, 1950), p. 213, 276
Paolo Enrico Arias, Skopas, L'Erma di Bretschneider (Rome, Italy, 1952), p. 128, no. 3, pls. 11, 39
Margarete Bieber, The Sculpture of the Hellenistic Age, Columbia University Press (New York, NY, 1961), pp. 24-25, figs. 54, 56-67
Dr. Benjamin Rowland, Jr., The Classical Tradition in Western Art, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1963), pp. 33-34, fig. 24
George M. A. Hanfmann and John Griffiths Pedley, "The Statue of Meleager", Antike Plastik (1964), III, pp. 61-66, pls. 58-72
Andreas Linfert, Von Polyklet zu Lysipp : Polyklets Schule und ihr Verhältnis zu Skopas von Paros (Giessen, 1966)
George M. A. Hanfmann, Classical Sculpture, Michael Joseph, Ltd. (London, 1967), p. 320, fig. 158
Dorothea Arnold, Die Polykletnachfolge Untersuchungen zur Kunst von Argos und Sikyon zwischen Polyklet und Lysipp (1969)
Dericksen Morgan Brinkerhoff, "Figures of Venus, Creative and Derivative", Studies Presented to George M. A. Hanfmann, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1971), p. 15
Herbert D. Hoffmann, Collecting Greek Antiquities, C. N. Potter (New York, NY, 1971), p. 28, fig. 27.
Edward Waldo Forbes, Yankee Visionary, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1971), p. 4
Jean Charbonneaux, Classical Greek Art, Braziller (New York, NY, 1972), fig. 403
Erol Atalay and Sabahattin Turkoglu, "Ein fruhhellenistischer Portratkopf des Lysimachos aus Ephesos", Jahresheften des osterreichischen Archaologischen Instituts (50) (1976), cols. 133, 134, note 12, figs. 7, 8, cols. 135-138, figs. 1, 2
Margarete Bieber, Ancient Copies: Contributions to the History of Greek and Roman Art, New York University Press (New York, NY, 1977), p. 41, fig. 86
Cornelius C. Vermeule III, Greek Sculpture and Roman Taste, University of Michigan Press (Ann Arbor, MI, 1977), pp. 15-16, 33
Andrew Stewart, Skopas of Paros, Noyes Press (Park Ridge, NJ, 1977), pp. 104-107, 110, 122, 144
George M. A. Hanfmann and David Gordon Mitten, "The Art of Classical Antiquity", Apollo (May 1978), vol. 107, no. 195, pp. 362-369, pp. 362-363, fig. 1, pl. 44a
Cornelius C. Vermeule III, Greek and Roman Sculpture in America, University of California Press (Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA, 1981), p. 81, no. 51
Andrew Stewart, Skopas in Malibu, J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu, CA, 1982), pp. 14-15, fig. 19
S. Lane Faison, Jr., The Art Museums of New England, D. R. Godine (Boston, MA, 1982), p. 112, fig. 1, pl. 191, fig. 111
Kristin A. Mortimer and William G. Klingelhofer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press (Cambridge and New York, 1986), p. 107, no. 119, ill.
Cornelius C. Vermeule III and Amy Brauer, Stone Sculptures: The Greek, Roman and Etruscan Collections of the Harvard University Art Museums, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1990), p. 45, no. 30
James Cuno, Alvin L. Clark, Jr., Ivan Gaskell, and William W. Robinson, Harvard's Art Museums: 100 Years of Collecting, ed. James Cuno, Harvard University Art Museums and Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (Cambridge, MA, 1996), p. 110-111, ill.
Harvard University Art Museums, Masterpieces of world art : Fogg Art Museum, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, 1997
John Griffiths Pedley, Griechische kunst und archaologie, Könemann Verlagsgesellschaft (Cologne, 1999), p. 300/fig. 9.32
Stephan Wolohojian, ed., Harvard Art Museum/Handbook (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2008)
Greek Art and Life: From the Collections of the Fogg Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Private Lenders, Fogg Art Museum, 03/07/1950 - 04/15/1950
Gods in Color: Painted Sculpture of Classical Antiquity, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/22/2007 - 01/20/2008
Re-View: S422 Ancient & Byzantine Art & Numismatics, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 04/12/2008 - 06/18/2011
32Q: 3200 West Arcade, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050
This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at [email protected]
Scopas was born on the island of Paros. His father was the sculptor Aristander of Paros.  Skopas left Paros at an early age and travelled throughout the Hellenic world.
Scopas worked with Praxiteles, and he sculpted parts of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, especially the reliefs. He led the building of the new temple of Athena Alea at Tegea. Similar to Lysippus, Scopas is artistically a successor of the Classical Greek sculptor Polykleitos. The faces of the heads are almost in quadrat. The deeply sunken eyes and a slightly opened mouth are recognizable characteristics in the figures of Scopas.
Works by Scopas are preserved in the British Museum (reliefs) in London fragments from the temple of Athena Alea at Tegea in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens the celebrated Ludovisi Ares in the Palazzo Altemps, Rome a statue of Pothos restored as Apollo Citharoedus in the Capitoline Museum, Rome and his statue of Meleager, unmentioned in ancient literature but surviving in numerous replicas, perhaps best represented by a torso in the Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Pothos, or Desire, was a celebrated and much imitated statue by Scopas. Roman copies featured the human figure with a variety of props, such as musical instruments and fabrics as depicted here,  in an example that was in the collection of Cardinal Alessandro Albani.
- Andreas Linfert: Von Polyklet zu Lysipp. Polyklets Schule und ihr Verhältnis zu Skopas v. Paros. Diss. Freiburg i. B. 1965.
- Andrew F. Stewart: Skopas of Paros. Noyes Pr., Park Ridge, N.Y. 1977. ISBN0-8155-5051-0
- Andrew Stewart: Skopas in Malibu. The head of Achilles from Tegea and other sculptures by Skopas in the J. Paul Getty Museum J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, Calif. 1982. 0-89236-036-4
- Skopas of Paros and his world,International Conference on the Archaeology of Paros and the Cyclades Paroikia, Paros, Greece), Katsōnopoulou, Dora. , Stewart, Andrew F.
- "Skopas the Parian". Archived from the original on May 22, 2014 . Retrieved May 22, 2014 .
- ^ Steven Lattimore, "Scopas and the Pothos", American Journal of Archaeology Vol.91 No.3 (July 1987), pages 411–420 journal preview
This article about a Greek sculptor is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.
In Greek Mythology, Amarynthus son of King Abas was a hunter of the island of Euboea. The Huntress Goddess Artemis loved him and kept him her company during hunting. He insulted the Goddess of Sea who was also the Earth Shaker Goddess of earthquakes, by saying that the bounty of the Earth was superior to that of the sea. For this hubris and the arrogance against the goddess, Gods sent a huge wave towards him which washed and drowned him into the sea. Thereupon, Artemis the goddess in his love turned him to the eternal Amarynthus flower. Purplish pink color, known as Amaranth, denotes immortality in western culture. Amaranth (Food Red 9, E-123, C.I.# 16185) is also the name of a food color.
He Could Bring The Dead Back to Life
By the height of his career, Asclepius’ reputation had spread throughout the ancient world. It was even said that he could bring the dead back to life. The rumors speculated the goddess Athena had given him two vials filled with different types of the blood of the well-known Gorgon Medusa. One of the vials could bring life back to the dead, and the other could take life away. Asclepius made good use of the first vial, bringing well-known names back from the dead including Hippolytus, Hymenaeus and Glaucus.
The names of these daughters were Clotho, who combed and spun the wool yarn life of man, Lachesis was to measure the length that was given to each and every living being which was their life form, and last but not least was Atropos who is the oldest and smallest of the three sisters. Atropos was also known as the Goddess of Death and was the one that did the final thing and snipped the yarn. When this was done the man to which the yarn was attached to died.
The sisters of fate
Zeus being the main God and the father of these ladies even had the fates kill men due to wanting his own revenge. He was also known to command the fates not to cut some or had Clotho to re-spin the cut piece back together. When he did this there was always a reason.
When Zeus would want a job done and knew who could do it or he wanted to be the one to kill this person whom ever it may be.
Sometimes the fates would not listen to Zeus and did what they knew was right. They had all of the oracles to tell them things and what was to happen and who would die on this day.
The threads were very delicate and small but tough as nails and the only thing that could break the life line was Atropos shears.
When Lachesis decided that the thread was long enough then she would give the order to Atropos to snip the thread and get rid of the life form that was connected to it.
The Three Fates or as some calls them The Triumph of Death
The Life Thread
When Atropos cut the life thread with her shears they were always sharp as a razor and never went dull. When she would cut the thread, it was always a clean cut with no loose ends…. unless it was stopped by Lord Zeus himself.
It has been said the fates even had the power to kill the gods because the yarn strands were for every life form on earth and the heavens. But this is uncertain to be true or not. If this is true, it would make the sisters of fate more powerful then any god or goddess.
Many things are written, saying that the gods feared the fates due to this reason and did not want to cross them in any way, due to the possibility their immortality ending in a final snip.
The Romans Named Them Nona, Decuma, and Morta
Combined they were Parcae the Goddess of death
The Romans gave them the names of Nona (Clotho), Decuma (Lachesis), and Morta(Atropos). They were the goddess Parcae and were consider as all of them being the Goddess of death.
Many prayed to the fates in hopes of getting on their good side and not having their life ended and to ensure a good harvest or a good child birth.
However, the fates have been tricked or bribed into not cutting the life from a certain person. One of the most well known accounts is when Apollo got the Fates drunk. He was tricking them so that his friend Admetus would be spared from death.
It is even said that a few of the Greek gods and goddess besides Zeus could manipulate them and cause them to hold off a little longer on a cut.
Nemesis was said to be able to convince Atropos to prolong the cut on certain people. There had to be a reason for this but I am unable to find any thing on that.
Another myth that follows the sisters is that after every birth of a child, for seven nights afterwards they visit the child and determine his or her fate to see how to spin their life line. There is a story that has been carried out and is still a big part in Greek Mythology.
The Three Fates Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos
Meleager’s (A famous Greek hero) fate was decided when he was seven days old. The Sisters said that he would die when the branded log that lay upon the hearth would burn up. The mother was scared of this and grabbed up the log and placed it in a chest and locked and hid it up so no one but she knew where it was.
Meleager Statue at the Vatican City
Before Meleager had murdered his uncles along with his mother, she told him what the fates had said seven nights after he was born. She then told him where the log was and what would happen to him if it ever got burnt.
Meleager was struck by sadness for all of the killings he had done and brought out the log and threw it upon the fire and watched it burn and just as the fates had predicted just as soon as the log finished burning Meleager was killed.
The Power of the Sisters of Fate
The sisters of fate had the most important job of all of Olympian gods and goddesses. They knew every thing that every single man, woman, child and god had ever done or would do.
The Fates were not limited to the powers of deciding a life’s path. They were also known to go on the battle field and fight with the giants and Titans and killed many too. In many pictures they are shown with staffs or some weapon of sort.
So it looks like if you were a mortal or immortal you still had to answer to the fates. Your fate good and evil was given to you by the fates when you were born. So do we make our own fate or do they?
I would like to think that we make our own but now I am unsure. This really makes you think. Another thing is all myths have some thing of this sort that makes the fate of man kind.
All that I can say is think really hard before you do some thing that may be bad because that just might be a snip for you!
Moera (Myra)'s poems survive in a few lines quoted by Athenaeus, and two other epigrams. Other ancients wrote about her poetry.
Rome, probably wrote about 19 BCE
An ancient Roman poet, generally but not universally recognized as a woman, Sulpicia wrote six elegiac poems, all addressed to a lover. Eleven poems were credited to her but the other five are likely written by a male poet. Her patron, also patron to Ovid and others, was her maternal uncle, Marcus Valerius Messalla (64 BCE - 8 CE).
Explicit intent – the art of shunga in Japan
The now infamous Pan and Goat sculpture is barely back in its packing case &lsquoLife and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum&rsquo, yet the British Museum is already challenging its visitors with a more explicit and sustained show of sexual imagery. This time, rather than &lsquoles Romains de la decadence&rsquo, the subject-matter is the Japanese art form known as shunga, and the subtitle of the show, which runs until 5 January 2014, is one that emphasises &lsquosex and pleasure&rsquo over sex and perversion. Pleasurable these pictures may be, but only for those mature enough to understand what it is they are looking at: as was the case with the Pompeii and Herculaneum show, the publicity materials carry a warning &ndash &lsquothis exhibition contains information of a sexually explicit nature that may offend some visitors. Parental guidance is advised for visitors under 16&rsquo. How are we to make sense of its cacophony of couplings? &lsquoShunga is unique in world culture&rsquo proclaims the first panel. What kind of sex is this? Whose pleasure?
For me, a classicist who has recently written on erotic artefacts from ancient Greece and Rome, and the reception of these artefacts in the Renaissance and beyond, shunga is certainly strange. Approach a Greco-Roman statue such as the 4th-century BC Aphrodite of Knidos, and one&rsquos appreciation of what it is that makes her the dynamic embodiment of the goddess of sexual desire on earth is shaped by centuries of artistic appreciation that has put the female nude on a pedestal and &lsquogot off&rsquo on toppling her from it. The Pan and Goat sculpture may still worry its London public, but it has been doing so since its rediscovery in the 18th century when the difficulties of seeing it &lsquoin the flesh&rsquo made it something of a celebrity. Sexy and sexually explicit imagery has always had a part in our engagement with the antique. By contrast, Japanese art is a non-naturalistic tradition with no such investment in the nude form, male or female. It occupies an altogether different place in the Western imagination. Although shunga arrived in Britain in 1613 (acquired by the captain of the first English voyage to Japan, John Saris, in exchange for erotic paintings born of the classical tradition), it was burned before it could leave the East India Company&rsquos offices. It was not until the mid 19th century that it infiltrated the studies of England&rsquos educated elite. Earlier collectors such as Horace Walpole (1717&ndash97) had to make do with cabinets and ceramics.
I inevitably look at shunga with Western eyes. Particularly striking is the anatomically accurate, if often exaggerated nature, of the figures&rsquo genitals, their rounded bodies, more boneless by far than those of Ingres&rsquo women, the intensity of their interaction (eye to eye, tongue tasting tongue, hand holding hand or caressing cheek), the expressiveness of their mouths, the contrast between bared buttocks and breasts and sumptuous clothing. Yet glimpses of flesh through fabric, and of a hint of neck or face remind us that desire, as opposed to the culmination that is sex, is always veiled the presence of internal viewers, whose looking or looking away rubs up against our curiosity, that what we see is always subjective. Perhaps shunga is less alien after all, the often paler skin of the female figures reminiscent of the painterly conventions of Athenian pots and Renaissance art. In an ukiyo-e print of the 1760s, a young woman about to bathe could almost be the sister of the Aphrodite of Knidos, the swan that sometimes accompanies the goddess transformed into a comedy frog who is granted a privileged peek at her genitals
Onna dairaku takara-beki (Great Pleasures for Women and their Treasure Boxes) (c. 1755), Tsukioka Settei. Photo: © Uragami Mitsuru collection
But before getting too carried away, a little more about shunga&rsquos original audiences and viewing contexts. Unlike ancient Roman society, where sexually explicit art was found in gardens and on the walls of houses, inns and baths, early modern Japan was more sedate, restricting its enjoyment of such scenes to scrolls, prints and books which could be put away when not in use. Not that this means that these scenes were rare, nor indeed akin to the explicit images on Athenian pots which were designed for male-only drinking parties known as symposia. Shunga was not difficult to obtain, even when officially banned in 1722, and was widely disseminated as print culture exploded. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that women also looked at shunga. Some of it, such as an 18th-century parody of a Confucian-influenced moral and educational textbook for women, was perhaps designed especially for them, and wealthy families included examples in the bride&rsquos trousseau. In 1859, an American businessman recorded his shock at arriving at the port of Yokohoma and being shown shunga by a bookseller and his wife, who began to tell him &lsquowhat beautiful books they were&rsquo. This is worlds away from the homosocial culture of 18th- and 19th-century London, fostered by Walpole and his contemporaries, or by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
What was shunga&rsquos function? I have argued elsewhere of the need to put Pan and the Goat back into an ancient Arcadia inhabited by satyrs, fauns and centaurs, a context that appreciates that he is a god, and that gods in Greece and Rome regularly express their agency, and mortals their communion with the divine, through the image of intercourse. But what context can we give the bather in the ukiyo-e print? She is not a goddess, nor are most of the figures in the other images deities, any more than all of them are sex workers. Rather than being religious, primarily didactic or apotropaic&ndashclassificatory categories that risk neutering the suggestiveness or shock of the sexual content &ndash they are unapologetic about being examples of the clumsy couplings that stem from physical attraction, with all of the passion, drama and comedic value that comes with that. (It is no surprise that another name for shunga was &lsquowarai-e&rsquo or &lsquolaughter-picture&rsquo.) In the 1760s, the introduction of full-colour woodblock printing, combined sometimes with the tactile quality of embossed paper, enhanced the sensuality of shunga prints, which are arguably about simple pleasure(s).
Not that this makes shunga mundane or apolitical. As we have seen already with the parody of the women&rsquos textbook, the physicality and bookishness of shunga made it an appropriate genre for satire. The Greek and Roman examples of erotica that do show mortals present themselves as snapshots of nameless flirting or decontextualised rutting: man with woman, man with man, or, on an oil-lamp made in Athens under the Roman Empire, woman and horse. Shunga&rsquos equivalents, on the other hand, which in the 17th and 18th centuries also embraced male-male sex between older, active men and youths, have their origins in the narrative traditions of the Medieval period and the luxury handscrolls of the elite.
Even after scrolls gave way to sets of images, which need not be explicitly related to one another, and painting to printing, albums and print books were de rigueur, with those produced by the ukiyo-e school often incorporating text, both narrative context and dialogue, within the visual frame. In a print from one set of 24, which unusually for a shunga series does form an ongoing narrative, a male traveller hitches up his robe to penetrate a woman who perches precariously on horseback. Were this an image from ancient Italy &ndash an image such as we find in a set of erotic frescoes from the Suburban Baths at Pompeii, showing a man crouching on the ground to give oral sex to a woman &ndash we would be unsure whether to see her as empowered or degraded. In the Japanese case, the dialogue puts the female figure incontrovertibly in the driving seat: she advises, &lsquoYes that&rsquos it, it&rsquos in &hellip There is still time before the boat arrives&rsquo. And the horseman&rsquos reply, &lsquoI don&rsquot need a fee or anything. I&rsquoll even take you on the horse two stops further, as far as the embankment at Kumagaya.&rsquo The presence of a tiny bean-man under a tree to the right further scripts the image: &lsquoI&rsquove got to admit that this horseman has a big one. But his name doesn&rsquot live up to the name &ldquoYosaku.&rdquo&rsquo &ldquoYosaku&rsquo is not a random choice, but the hero of a famous play by the renowned dramatist, Chikamatsu Monzaemon.
Picture nine from Furyuenshoku Mane&rsquoemon (Elegant Erotic Mane&rsquoemon) (1770),
Suzuki Harunobu. Photo: © International Research Centre for Japanese Studies, Kyoto
Even comparatively classic stories, such as Murasaki Shikibu&rsquos courtly novel, the Tale of Genji, written early in the 11th century, were exposed to this kind of treatment as, with each iteration, the eroticism for which they were renowned warmed to lust. Hercules aside (his demi-god status affords him similar licence to the original Greek immortals), it is almost impossible to imagine Homeric heroes being so abused by ancient artists, even if the heroic code&rsquos ranking of glory above family was not undebated even within the Iliad itself, and even if the makers of non-sexual artefacts delighted in bringing word and image together. Although Latin literature signals the existence of a famous image of Meleager (whose story is recounted in the Iliad) receiving oral sex from Atalanta, it does so in the context of the lechery and tyranny of the Roman emperor Tiberius. In 18th-century Japan, by contrast, the literary record talks positively about intellectuals enjoying shunga, one of them going so far as to write a poem on a shunga painting. Perhaps it is no surprise, given this background, and indeed the female authorship attributed to the Tale of Genji, that women too should have been viewers. Nor is it a surprise that shunga should frequently feed off other genres of text, not only literary genres, high and popular, but medical, geographical and religious texts, or lend itself to political analogy or comment. For all that the sex is often pleasurable to look at in and of itself, part of the pleasure of shunga is reading between the lines to find the intertext.
This essay has created an intertext of a different kind, that between the classical world and Japanese society of 1600&ndash1900, to have us think harder about what we are looking at when we look at erotic artworks from different cultures. Following the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the publication and display of shunga in Japan was strictly forbidden and real bodies controlled by regulations concerning tattoos, mixed bathing and public nakedness. In the wake of the Russo-Japanese war of 1904&ndash05, these strictures became more severe, as though the need to play on an international stage infected Japan with the kinds of moral codes that had corseted Victorian Britain. For most of the 20th century it was nigh on impossible for scholars to study or disseminate shunga: even academic journals published in Japan in the 1960s had to obfuscate the genitals. Although shunga is clearly rooted in the visual culture of China, factors such as China&rsquos Cultural Revolution still make the later history of its erotic imagery difficult.
All of this makes the British Museum&rsquos current exhibition particularly momentous. I feared that cabinet upon cabinet of sex and just sex would sully me and the material, but found instead that it augmented the beauty &ndash the different ways in which the images play with seeing and not seeing, intimacy and voyeurism, delicacy and vulgarity, earnestness and humour. Compared to the Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibition, where Pan and the Goat&rsquos relative isolation in the corner of a gallery otherwise devoted to everyday life shattered illusions about the Romans being &lsquojust like us&rsquo, the cumulative effect of the shunga show makes its protagonists more human.
There are merits to both approaches: for Londoners of the 21st century are neither like or unlike the inhabitants of 1st-century Pompeii or 19th-century Tokyo, but are lost in a vortex of difference and sameness. As a measure of this maze, sex, with its emphasis on irrationality, physical stimulation, procreation and so on, is as good a guide as any. But one needs traction if one is to make the most of the journey. For me, this is provided by the contrast between the classical and the Japanese by being unable to look at the woman bathing without seeing the Knidian, or, rather differently, at a parodic print of the Death of Buddha as a giant phallus without thinking of classical collector and scholar, Richard Payne Knight (1751&ndash1824) and his obsession with uncovering the importance of ancient phallic cults. It is not just that when English collectors such as George Witt eventually did come into contact with shunga in the early 1860s, it was within the context of a broader history of sex customs in Japan and in Greece and Rome, which owed a lot to Payne Knight&rsquos forays. It is that comparing and contrasting the artistic production of two societies outside my own enables me to deploy my own cultural positioning without making it a crutch. And it works both ways: I can think of no better example anywhere than the books of &lsquovile pictures&rsquo (as the US businessman called them), which were taken down from a top shelf and held up as beautiful by the bookseller and his wife, for highlighting the inadequacy of the term &lsquopornography&rsquo.
How best to introduce the public to the complexities of erotic art and its reception? The problem with slapping a &lsquoparental guidance&rsquo notice on a show is that it is all that the press think about, making its key questions, &lsquohow dirty is it?&rsquo or &lsquohow lucky is its audience?!&rsquo Rather than worry about what kind of sex we are looking at, we are better tapping its pleasures with whatever tools we have at our disposal. If these tools are not from the classical tradition, then they might be from Buddhist or Hindu art (such as Chinese bronzes from 1400&ndash1600 which show the god Guhyasamaja about to kiss the goddess Sparshavajra, each of them making the most of their three faces and three arms, or phallic symbols of the god Shiva). In the process, we may not see the world as its makers did but we certainly look at it and ourselves more knowingly.
&lsquoShunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art&rsquo is at the British Museum in London until 5 January 2014.
From the November 2013 issue of Apollo. Preview the current issue and subscribe here.
End of Semester One celebrations in History
There is no excuse for History ever being boring, so to celebrate the end of Semester One, students from 7O (who have been studying Ancient Rome) held a Toga Day students from 8H3 (who have been studying the Spanish Conquest of the Americas) held an Aztec Day and students in 10H1 (who have been studying Australian popular culture 1945–present) dressed up in decade-specific clothing to deliver fabulous presentations on their chosen decade.
Mr de Bres
Student report of 70’s Toga Day:
We started our Toga Day in W13, where we got dressed in togas. We used single, white bed sheets and draped one side over our shoulder while wrapping the other one tightly around our waist and tucking over the other shoulder. The class then moved to the Fountain Quad where we performed the playDeath in the Senatein front of the statue of Meleager, in two groups of 15.The play was about the death of Julius Caesar who was murdered in 44 BCE by a number of conspirators who believed he was gaining too much power. After his death the Second Triumvirate was formed by Octavian, Mark Antony and Lepidus. We finished our plays and headed towards the original front of the school and had a lunch of “traditional Roman cuisine.”
It was not until the beginning of the reign of Charles II that the secret of this manufacture was discovered in England, and the credit of the discovery belongs to John Dwight of Fulham. Dr. Plot, writing in 1677, (fn. 1) says:
The ingenious John Dwight, formerly M.A. of Christ Church College, Oxon., hath discovered the mystery of the Stone or Cologne wares (such as D'Alva bottles, jugs, noggins) heretofore made only in Germany, and by the Dutch brought over into England in great quantities, and hath set up a manufacture of the same, which (by methods and contrivances of his own, altogether unlike those used by the Germans) in three or four years' time he hath brought it to a greater perfection than it has attained where it hath been used for many ages, insomuch that the Company of Glass-Sellers, London, who are the dealers for that commodity, have contracted with the inventor to buy only of his English manufacture, and refuse the foreign.
Dwight, who is said to have been a native of Oxfordshire, took his Oxford degree of B.C.L. in 1661, and afterwards became secretary to Bryan Walton, Bishop of Chester, and his episcopal successors Henry Ferne and Joseph Hall. After a long series of trials and experiments upon the properties of clays and mineral products as materials for porcelain and stoneware, he obtained, in April 1671, a patent for his discoveries. (fn. 2) In his petition he claimed to have 'discovered (fn. 3) the mistery of transparent earthenware comonly knowne by the name of porcelaine or China and Persian ware, as alsoe the misterie of the Stone ware vulgarly called Cologne ware.' As regards his first claim, Professor Church (fn. 4) admits that Dwight 'did make some approach to success in producing a body which if not porcelain is distinctly porcellanous.'
Dwight's experiments and researches into the properties of various clays and their proper treatment for the production of china ware must have extended over a considerable number of years before he took the patent for his 'discovery' in 1671. An interesting confirmation of his claim occurs in a periodical work, entitled A Collection for the Improvement of Husbandry and Trade, by a contemporary writer, John Houghton, who was a Fellow of the Royal Society. (fn. 5) He is speaking (12 January 1693-4) of the tobacco-pipe clays, 'gotten at or nigh Pool, a port town in Dorsetshire, and there dug in square pieces, of the bigness of about half a hundredweight each from thence 'tis brought to London, and sold in peaceable times at about eighteen shillings a ton, but now in this time of war is worth about threeand-twenty shillings.' He proceeds: 'This sort of clay, as I hinted formerly, is used to clay sugar and the best sort of mugs are made with it, and the ingenious Mr. Dwight of Fulham tells me that 'tis the same earth China-ware is made of, and 'tis made not by lying long in the earth but in the fire and if it were worth while, we may make as good China here as any is in the world. And so for this time farewell clay.' In another letter, (fn. 6) dated 13 March 1695-6, he writes:-
Of China-ware I see but little imported in the year 1694, I presume by reason of the war and our bad luck at sea. There came only from Spain certain, and from India certain twice. 'Tis a curious manufacture and deserves to be encourag'd here, which without doubt money would do, and Mr. Dwoit of Fulham has done it, and can again in anything that is flat. But the difficulty is that if a hollow dish be made, it must be burnt so much, that the heat of the fire will make the sides fall. He tells me that our clay will very well do it, the main skill is in managing the fire. By my consent, the man that would bring it to perfection should have for his encouragement 1,000£. from the Publick, tho' I help'd to pay a tax towards it.
Dwight's discovery seems to have stopped short at the practical point, the time and expense involved in the manufacture proving totally unremunerative. Mr. L. M. Solon, (fn. 7) however, after a careful analysis of all the evidence, including the recipes and memoranda contained in two little books in Dwight's own hand, concludes that he got no further than making transparent specimens of his stoneware by casting it thin and firing it hard.
His claim to the discovery of the composition of stoneware is beyond question. Dwight's stoneware vessels were equal if not superior to those imported from Germany, and very soon superseded them. A list of his wares is given in the specification of his second patent granted in 1684 for a further term of fourteen years. This description is as follows:- 'Severall new manufactures of earthenwares called by the names of white gorges, marbled porcellane vessels, statues, and figures, and fine stone gorges and vessells, never before made in England or elsewhere.'
Mr. Solon, in his work above quoted, (fn. 8) pays the following high tribute to Dwight's skill and genius:-'To him must be attributed the foundation of an important industry by his unremitting researches and their practical application, he not only found the means of supplying in large quantities the daily wants of the people with an article superior to anything that had ever been known before, but besides, by the exercise of his refined taste and uncommon skill, he raised his craft to a high level nothing among the masterpieces of ceramic art of all other countries can excel the beauty of Dwight's brown stone-ware figures, either of design, modelling, or fineness of material.'
Very little is known of Dwight's personal history the facts are few and somewhat obscure. Professor Church (fn. 9) conjectures 1637 or 1638 as the year of his birth, and states that his eldest child John was born at Chester in 1662. In the patent which he obtained in 1671 Dwight states that he has set up at Fulham a manufactory, but in 1683 when his son George matriculated at Oxford he is described as 'of the city of Chester.' The year following, his second patent describes him as a manufacturer at Fulham, whilst in 1687 and 1689 in the matriculation entries of his sons Samuel and Philip he is styled John Dwight of Wigan. It is not till the matriculation of his son Edmund in 1692 that the university register gives his address as Fulham. Professor Church (fn. 10) states that this child was born at Fulham in 1676. He also says that 'until 1665 Dwight lived at Chester, but before the end of 1668 he moved to Wigan some time between March 1671 and August 1676 he settled at Fulham.'
This does not, however, agree with the statements in the matriculation registers. A more probable explanation is that Dwight opened his factory at Fulham before he left Chester and carried it on whilst still living there and at Wigan. He may have had friends or relatives in Middlesex, as a family of that name was living at Sudbury near Harrow in 1637. Lysons states (fn. 11) that Mr. William Dwight in that year gave 40s. per annum out of his lands at Sudbury to the poor of Harrow. John Dwight died (fn. 12) at Fulham in 1703, and was buried there on 13 October. His widow Lydia was buried at Fulham on 3 November 1709.
Dwight had the habit of hiding money, and left memoranda in his note-books of places, such as holes in the fireplace, holes in the furnace, &c., where packets of guineas were concealed. He also buried specimens of his stoneware which were found during some excavations for new buildings at the Fulham factory in a vaulted chamber or cellar which had been firmly walled up. The objects thus discovered were chiefly bellarmines and ale-jugs, identical in form with those imported from Cologne. Another authentic collection of examples from the Fulham works, which had been kept by the family, was sold to Mr. Baylis of Prior's Bank about the year 1862. These pieces were shortly afterwards disposed of to Mr. C. W. Reynolds, and finally dispersed by auction at Christie's in 1871.
The two collections have afforded valuable criteria for assigning to the Fulham factory specimens of stoneware about which collectors previously were in considerable doubt. The Baylis-Reynolds collection also revealed the high artistic merit of Dwight's pottery, the variety of his productions, and the great perfection to which he had brought the potter's art, both in the manipulation and in the employment of enamel colours for decoration. The collection contained twentyeight specimens which had been carefully preserved by members of the Dwight family, and kept as heirlooms from the time of their manufacture. The most interesting piece, and probably the earliest in date, is a beautiful halflength figure in hard stoneware of the artist's little daughter, inscribed 'Lydia Dwight, dyd March the 3rd, 1762.' The child lies upon a pillow with eyes closed, her hands clasping to her breast a bouquet of flowers, and a broad lace band over her forehead. The figure, evidently modelled after death, exhibits, as Mr. Solon well remarks, 'the loving care of a bereaved father in the reproduction of the features and the minute perfection with which the accessories, such as flowers and lace, are treated.' This beautiful work was purchased for £150 at the Reynolds sale, and is now n the Victoria and Albert Museum. Another figure, also at South Kensington, was bought at the Reynolds sale for £30, and is believed to represent Lydia Dwight she is figured standing, wrapped in a shroud, with a skull at her feet. The fine life-size statue of Prince Rupert, now in the British Museum, was bought at the Reynolds sale for thirty-eight guineas, and is a magnificent specimen of modelling. The 'Meleager,' also in the British Museum, and the 'Jupiter' in the Liverpool Museum, are declared by Mr. Solon to be worthy of an Italian artist of the Renaissance. Other specimens in the collection (fn. 13) were a lifesize bust of Charles II, smaller busts of Charles II and Catherine of Braganza, others of James II and his queen Mary, full-length figures of Flora and Minerva, a sportsman in the costume of the reign of Charles II, a girl holding flowers with two lambs by her side, and five stoneware statuettes (in imitation of bronze) of Jupiter, Mars, Neptune, Meleager, and Saturn. Speaking of the above collection of pieces, Mr. Burton remarks (fn. 14) :-'It is still more remarkable to find a series of figures displaying such finished modelling, perfect proportion, and breadth of treatment. Finer artistic work than this, in clay, has never been produced in this country, and the knowledge, taste, and skill shown in their production fully entitle Dwight to be reckoned among the great potters of Europe.'
The characteristics of Dwight's pottery have been described as follows (fn. 15) :-
The Fulham stone-ware, in imitation of that of Cologne, is of exceedingly hard and close texture, very compact and sonorous and usually of a grey colour, ornamented with a brilliant blue enamel, in bands, leaves, and flowers. The stalks have frequently four or more lines running parallel, as though drawn with a flat notched stick on the moist clay the flowers, as well as the outlines, are raised, and painted a purple or marone colour, sometimes with small ornaments of flowers and cherubs' heads, and medallions of kings and queens of England in front, with Latin names and titles, and initials of Charles II, William III, William and Mary, Anne, and George I. The forms are mugs, jugs, butterpots, cylindrical or barrel-shaped, &c. the jugs are spherical, with straight narrow necks, frequently mounted in pewter, and raised medallions in front with the letters cr wr ar gr, &c. These were in very common use, and superseded the Bellarmines and longbeards of Cologne manufacture.
The quality of hardness which distinguishes stoneware from other kinds of pottery is imparted to it, says Professor Church, (fn. 16) partly by the nature and proportions of the materials used in making the body or paste, partly by the temperature at which it is fired. The saltglaze employed for European stoneware is formed on the ware itself and in part out of its constituents. It is produced by throwing into the kiln moist common salt towards the end of the firing when the pieces have acquired a very high temperature. The salt is volatilized, and reacting with the watervapour present is decomposed into hydrochloric acid gas, which escapes, and into soda, which attacking and combining with the silica of the clay in the body, forms with it a hard glass or glaze of silicate of soda, in which a little alumina is also always present. This was the two-fold secret which Dwight at length succeeded in discovering. His note-books (fn. 17) contain many curious recipes for the composition of his various pastes or 'cleys' which were the results of his numerous and laborious experiments. Large extracts from these memoranda have been published. (fn. 18) There is a tradition in the family (fn. 19) that besides concealing the vessels found in the bricked-up chamber, Dwight buried all his models, tools, and moulds connected with the finer branches of his manufactory in some secret place on the premises at Fulham, observing that the production of such matters was expensive and unremunerative and that his successors might not be tempted to perpetuate this part of the business he put it out of their power by concealing the means. Search has often been made for these hidden treasures, but hitherto without success.
For a long time after Dwight's death his descendants [continued to manufacture the same sort of jugs and mugs. In a private collection there is a flip-can of historical interest, which once belonged to the original of Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. It is inscribed 'Alexander Silkirke. This is my one. When you take me on bord of ship, Pray fill me full of punch or flipp, Fulham.' It is said to have been made for Selkirk in or about 1703. In cottages along the Thames bank have been found many large tankards with the names of well-known public houses. Some of the jugs have hunting scenes and others bear decorations of a loyal or political character. For example, a mug with a medallion portrait of Queen Anne, supported by two beefeaters, is inscribed round the top, 'Drink to the pious memory of good Queen Anne, 1729.'
John Dwight had five sons, but it is not known whether all of them survived him or which was his successor in business. Some writers say he was succeeded by his son Dr. Samuel Dwight, who died in November 1737 the Gentleman's Magazine, (fn. 20) in his obituary notice, after mentioning his authorship of 'several curious treatises on physic,' states that 'he was the first that found out the secret to colour earthenware like china.' He is said to have practised in his profession as a physician, and wrote some Latin medical treatises between 1722 and 1731. It is possible that he was a partner only, and that the business was carried on jointly with another brother. The male descendants seem to have disappeared by the end of the 18th century.
Lysons, who wrote in 1795, (fn. 21) says, 'These manufactures are still carried on at Fulham by Mr. White, a descendant in the female line of the first proprietor. Mr. White's father, who married one of the Dwight family (a niece of Dr. Dwight, vicar of Fulham), obtained a premium anno 1761 from the Society for the Encouragement of Arts &c., for making crucibles of British materials.' The niece of Dr. Dwight above mentioned was probably the Margaret Dwight who with her partner, Thomas Warland, became bankrupt in 1746. (fn. 22)
William White, whom she is said to have married, described as 'of Fulham in the county of Middlesex, potter,' took out a patent in 1762 for the manufacture of 'white crucibles or melting potts made of British materials, and never before made in England or elsewhere and which I have lately sett up at Fulham aforesaid.'
The earliest dated piece of Fulham stoneware known to exist is in the collection of Mr. J. E. Hodgkin. It is a mug ornamented with a ship and figure of a shipwright caulking the seams of a hull, and bearing an inscription in script, 'Robert Asslet London Street 1721.' Another specimen of quaint design, belonging to Mr. H. C. Moffat, is a large mug with pewter mount its decoration consists of a centre medallion representing Hogarth's 'Midnight modern conversation,' another medallion bearing the Butchers' Arms of Hereford, and the inscription 'Waller Vaughan of Hereford, His mug must not be brock, 1740.'
Speaking of the later history of this manufactory Chaffers says- (fn. 23)
In Mr. Llewellynn Jewitt's sale there was a gallon flipcan of stoneware with strongly hinged cover of the same material and a grated spout. It was ornamented with raised borders and figures of a woman milling, a church in the distance, a hunting scene, Hope, Peace, and other figures with a well-modelled head on the spout, marked at the bottom in letters scratched into the soft clay 'W. J. White fecit Dec. 8, 1800.' On the heart-shaped termination of the handle is 'W. W. 1800.' In 1813 the manufactory was in the hands of Mr. White, a son of the above, and the articles then made were chiefly stoneware jars, pots, jugs, &c. The Fulham works remained in the family until 1862, when the last Mr. White died, and he was succeeded by Messrs. MacIntosh and Clements but in consequence of the death of the leading partner, the works were disposed of to Mr. C. J. C. Bailey, the present proprietor, in 1864. This gentleman has made considerable alterations and fitted up a quantity of machinery with a view of facilitating the manufacture and extending the business.
Writing in 1883 Jewitt speaks (fn. 24) very highly of the improvements introduced by Mr. Bailey. The output in stoneware included all the usual domestic vessels, besides sanitary and chemical appliances of various kinds. In addition, works of art of a high order in stoneware, terra-cotta, china, and other materials were produced, thus restoring the ancient reputation of the firm. For the stoneware department the services of M. Cazin, formerly director of the school of art at Tours, were engaged. A cannette in his own collection bearing the artist's name, "Cazin, 1872, Study," Jewitt praises as remarkably good. (fn. 25) Also another example made expressly for him, which bears an admirably modelled armorial medallion and other incised and relief ornaments, with the date 1873, and artist's name, C. Cazin, also incised. The coloured stone or 'sgraffito' ware has a high repute, and Mr. Bailey in 1872 received a medal at the Dublin Exhibition for his stoneware and terra-cotta. In the latter ware were produced vases, statues, architectural enrichments, chimney shafts, stoves, &c., of very good quality and of admirable design, Mr. Martin, sculptor, having been engaged as modeller and designer, and giving to some of the productions the name of Martin ware. The manufacture of chinaware was added during the year 1873, with the aid of good workmen and of Mr. E. Bennet and Mr. Hopkinson as artists. As the beginning of a new manufacture which had done much to establish a fresh fame for Fulham, Jewitt thus describes the composition of the ware: (fn. 26) 'The body is made from Dwight's original recipe, the very body of which the first chinaware made in England was produced, and therefore the "Fulham china" of to-day has an historical interest attached to it which is possessed by no other.' The business has since passed into other hands and is now the property of the Fulham Pottery and Cheavin Filter Company, Limited.
A factory of stoneware, galley-pots, mugs, pans, dishes, &c., was carried on by James Ruel at Sandford House, Sand End, King's Road, Fulham. The undertaking proved unsuccessful, and in 1798 the factory and stock in trade were advertised for sale by auction by order of the sheriff, but were disposed of previously by private contract.
The pottery of William de Morgan & Co. has since 1888 been carried on at Fulham. The business was started in 1870 by Mr. William de Morgan, who began by decorating tiles and pots in Fitzroy Square. Removing afterwards to Chelsea, he continued to paint Dutch pottery, and that made by Stiff & Co. of Lambeth and by Staffordshire potters whilst at Chelsea he built an oven, and engaged in the practical business of a potter. On removing to Fulham in 1888, he entered into partnership with Mr. Halsey Ricardo, a new pottery was built, and the wares stamped 'W. de Morgan & Co., Sands End Pottery, Fulham, S.W.,' and with a small floral device surmounted with the initials DM. The output of this firm also includes lustre ware, an imitation of the Hispano-Moresco work of the 15th and 16th centuries, and pottery decorated in the Persian style and with Dutch scenes.
At Southall is a small pottery carried on by the four brothers Martin, with an office in Brownlow Street, Holborn, for the sale of their wares. (fn. 27) The founder of the firm was Robert Wallace Martin, a Royal Academy student, and pupil of Alexander Munro the sculptor, who revived in this country the glazed stoneware of the 16th and 17th centuries. After an unsuccessful co-operation with Mr. Bailey, who was then proprietor of the Fulham Pottery, Martin entered into partnership in the early seventies with his three brothers, Charles Douglas, Walter Fraser, and Edwin Bruce. This ware, which is greatly appreciated by connoisseurs, is the outcome of a long series of experiments with clays and colours and methods of firing them. A special feature with the makers is that the decoration of a specimen is never repeated, so that each piece is in its way a unique example of the handiwork of the potter. The style varies greatly from the classical to the grotesque, and the colouring is frequently as original as the decoration, which is incised, modelled, or carved. The mark consists of the name and address of the firm, with the month and year of production, incised in cursive lettering.