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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta larnax (chest-shaped coffin)

Late Minoan IIIB
mid-13th century B.C.
Overall with lid 40 x 18 x 42 1/4 in. (101.6 x 45.7 x 107.3 cm) H. of body 30 1/2 in. (77.5 cm) H. of lid 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Anonymous Gift, in memory of Nicolas and Mireille Koutoulakis, 1996
Accession Number:
1996.521a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 151
The larnax was the standard type of coffin in Crete from the early fourteenth century to the twelfth century B.C. The structure with recessed panels on each side suggests a wooden prototype, and recent scholarship has identified Egyptian chests as the probable models. The decoration on each side consists of geometric and vegetal ornaments well represented on contemporary pottery. The larnax stands at the beginning of an impressive series of large-scale funerary monuments in the Greek and Roman collection.
From the late 1920s – early 1930s, private collection, Austria; purchased by Emmanuel Koutoulakis from a private collector, Austria; until 1996, collection of Emmanuel Koutoulakis, Geneva, Switzerland; acquired in 1996, gift of Emmanuel, Ariane, and Daphne Koutoulakis.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1997. "One Hundred Twenty-seventh Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1996 through June 30, 1997." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 127: p. 17.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 23, pp. 40, 412, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2017. The Artist Project : What Artists See When They Look at Art. pp. 246–47, New York.

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