Egyptian model boat, on which the deceased is depicted in the act of receving a report from the scribe and other administrators; widespread belief had it that, if placed in their tombs, funerary boats would continue serving their owners in the afterlife; model funerary boats were a common feature throughout the Middle Kingdom (about 2060-1785 b.C.).
Workshop of Giulio Romano (?) first half of the 16th century oil on a cusped slate board inv nr. 1264
One of the most iconic exhibits in its collections, this unique-looking painting on slate was donated to the Accademia by Luisa Bartolozzi Tommasi in 1851 and, after enduring a long series of (legal and non-legal) vicissitudes, was eventually incorporated into the academic collections. Although clearly drawing its inspiration from antique pictorial models and schemes, this encaustic painting on a slate board should be dated to the 16th century, if not to the 1700s.
Luca Signorelli 1510-1515 tempera on board inv. nr. 2711
The “Tondo Signorelli”
Originally attributed to Francesco Signorelli, but more recently identified as a work by better known Luca Signorelli (1453-1523), this large “tondo” depicts the Virgin with Child surrounded by saints associated with the town of Cortona, including Michael, Vincent, Margaret and Marc: the latter holds a model of the town in his hand.
Made in a very soft, lead-rich bronze alloy to allow for easier inscription, the Tabula was hung for consultation by a riveted handle ending in a spheroid knob. The Tabula is an opistographic document, i.e. it is engraved on both sides with an inscription that covers the whole of the front face (recto) of the tablet with 32 lines of writing and, then, continues onto the backside (verso) with further 8 lines; the inscription was incised engraving each letter very carefully; the text was written using the alphabet employed in the Cortona area between the late 3rd and the 2nd century B.C. with the retrograde "e" occurring in the final or initial syllable to replace a former diphthong. Overall, the text consists of 40 lines and 206 word-forms (including 55 actual lexical units and 10 clitic forms such as pronouns, conjunctions and postpositions) which make it the third-longest Etruscan text ever found, the first and the second being the Liber Linteus and the Tabula Capuana respectively. Two different hands were identified to have written the text: a primary scribe incised the first 26 lines in the recto and the whole of the verso whilst a secondary scribe possibly wrote the last 6 lines in the recto. The Tabula was displayed for some time in a public place (perhaps a sanctuary) and possibly suspended by its handle from a track that allowed it to be read from both sides. The tablet was later removed from its original location, deliberately broken into eight pieces and stored for disposal. The fragments were stored in a damp place together with other iron artefacts that left spots and encrustations on the surface The missing piece only contained part of the list of names covering lines 24-32 of side A and the first line of side B and does not prevent the text from being fully understood. Based on the presence of the term zilath mechl raśnal, referring to the praetor of Cortona, i.e. the supreme magistrate having juridical functions, the text was unanimously identified by scholars as representing an important notarial act. The Tabula was recently interpreted by Prof. Mario Torelli as being divided into seven sections indentified by means of a paragraph sign in the form of a Z. The text records a conveyance of land made by public claim of ownership before the seller and the praetor that finally sanctioned the transaction (in iure cessio under Roman law). In the first section (side A, lines 1-7) valuable land (the Etruscan word vina = vineyard can be read) is offered for sale by Petru Scevaś, a man of humble origins (the gentile name petru comes from the same individual name of Umbrian origin) and transferred to the joint ownership of the Cusu, sons of Laris; the section possibly also records the size of the land and the consideration in kind paid by the cusu.
Bronze Etruscan chandelier having on its upper-side a central hollow cone originally featuring an engraved palmette and lotus flower decoration. The chandelier has sixteen nozzles, alternating with an equal number of Acheloos protomes. Its underside features a complex concentric ring decoration spiralling out from a central gorgoneion; the innermost ring displays wild animal hunts with four groups of two wild beasts each setting upon a weaker prey; on the intermediate ring are leaping dolphins on stylized waves; the outermost ring running on the underside of the nozzles is decorated with alternating figures of Sileni, portrayed playing a syrinx or a double flute, and Mermaids.