The Portland Vase

I went to the British Museum with a friend. He had read about and wanted to see the Portland Vase in Room 70 amongst the Roman objects. It is a quiet room away from the bustling crowds around the Egyptian Mummies. Soon after arrival, it was deliberately smashed into 125 pieces by a visitor and faithfully glued together again.

What does the beautiful object tell us? It tells us, Gabriel, that beauty is worthwhile in itself. It serves no purpose, has no religious iconography, just gentle human forms. There are numerous arguments about what it all means. Does it matter if you look at it from above? A deep black seems to rise up from the penetrating blue shielding the white figures. In its colour it is almost spiritual.