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Cinerary Urn

A work made of marble.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of marble.


Late 1st-early 2nd century



About this artwork

This cinerary urn likely held the cremated remains of two individuals, presumably a husband and wife. The lid features portraits of the deceased flanked by symbols of the Roman goddess of love, Venus (the Greek Aphrodite), including dolphins and winged erotes, the goddess’s mythological companions. The front of the urn contains two rectangular panels, which were intended for personalized inscriptions but were instead left blank. Surrounding the panels are garland swags and an ox skull, both motifs associated with sacrificial rites, as well as rabbits, symbols of love and immortality.


On View, Gallery 153


Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium


Ancient Roman


Cinerary Urn


Roman Empire (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

50 CE–150 CE




a (urn): 23.1 × 53.9 × 27.6 cm (9 1/8 × 21 ¼ × 10 7/8 in) b (lid): 12.7 × 53.3 × 28.5 cm (5 × 21 × 11 ¼ in)

Credit Line

Gift of Emily Crane Chadbourne

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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