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Vase research (CVA)

The Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum (CVA) has made significant contributions to archaeological research since 1921. The international project, in which some 27 countries currently participate, aims to systematically catalogue Greek and Italian pottery held in museum collections. The German branch of the project is supported by the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

The publications compiled as a result list the objects according to vase shape and painting style. In addition to photographic documentation and drawings, they also contain a full bibliography, information on the objects’ origin, production technique and post-antique history, as well as outlining any figural decoration on the vessels and their importance. The catalogues also include maps and timelines that place the objects in a geographical and chronological context. Wherever possible, attributions are made as to the painting and pottery workshops behind their making. Analytical studies provide information as to colours and workshops.

The German CVA (including the three volumes previously compiled for collections in the former GDR) comprises 108 volumes so far, of which 19 are made up by the Antikensammlung at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin alone. 

The individual catalogues are digitized at the Beazley Archive in Oxford and can be browsed via its online database: International colloquia, held every two years, bring together vase experts from several countries.

Project management: Prof. Dr. Andreas Scholl; Prof. Dr. Stefan Schmidt (BAdW München)
Project team: Ursula Kästner (bis 2016), Dr. Nina Zimmermann-Elseify, Dr. Angelika Schöne-Denkinger, Dr. Laura Puritani, Dr. Agnes Schwarzmaier, Dr. Stefan Distler. Restoration: Bernd Zimmermann, Anke Kobbe. Photographs: Johannes Laurentius (bis 2018), Johannes Kramer. Drawings: Jörg Denkinger.
Project sponsor: Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften (BAdW) München.
Cooperation partner: Union Académique Internationale (UAI)
Project funding: Akademienprogramm
Duration: Long-term project
Project website: