Roman amphora made of terracotta with seashells, 100 A.D.

Amphorae are ceramic fusiform vessels with two handles and a narrow neck generally, although in some cultures they have developed into metal or other materials. They are usually finished with a point or even a long protruding tip that was used to nail them to the ground and keep them stable. Their precursors were the Greeks, although they soon spread throughout the Phoenician and Roman world, being used to transport liquids and food, as well as to be able to store them. Normally they could contain at least 25 to 30 litres, their form being variable depending on whether they were carrying wine, oil, salt, cereals or other food. The first and second centuries A.D. belong to the period known as High Imperial Rome, that is, the time of splendour of the Roman Empire. It is a flourishing period thanks to the arrival to power of Augustus, who promoted powerful changes in the Empire that had an impact on Roman art. During this period, the aesthetics of sculpture came from the Hellenistic world and, with respect to typologies, historical relief and portraits predominated, which sought to promote the most important characters or events.


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