About this artwork

This exceptional picture is one of only three fully finished watercolours to have survived from Lusieri’s twenty years’ activity in Greece. Lusieri discovered the double-urn in 1804 during the excavation of a burial mound outside Athens. The outer vase was made of white marble and had been damaged by the weight of the tomb. The bronze inner vase contained some burnt bones and a sprig of myrtle made of gold. These two urns were part of the original group of ‘Elgin Marbles’ purchased in 1816 for the British Museum, and remain there today. Lusieri’s highly accurate watercolour was bequeathed to the National Gallery of Scotland by Lady Ruthven. She met Lusieri in Athens in 1819 while travelling through Greece with her husband, and is assumed to have acquired this picture then.

  • title:
    A Greek Double Urn
  • accession number:
    D NG 711
  • artist:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • materials:
    Watercolour over pencil on paper
  • date created:
    About 1804
  • measurements:
    26.10 x 30.20 cm
  • credit line:
    Mary Hamilton Campbell, Lady Ruthven Bequest 1885

Giovanni Battista Lusieri

Giovanni Battista Lusieri