Portland Vase, Roman cameo glass, 1st century AD; in the British Museum
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The vase (/ˈveɪz/, or/ˈvɑːz/) is an open container, often used to hold cut flowers. It can be made from a number of materials including ceramics and glass. The vase is often decorated and thus used to extend the beauty of its contents.
Vases are defined as having a certain anatomy. Lowest is the foot, a distinguishable base to the piece. Next, the body, which forms the main and often largest portion of the piece. Resting atop the body is the shoulder, where the body curves inward. Then the neck, where the vase is given more height. Lastly, the lip, where the vase flares back out at the top. All these attributes can be seen in the pictures at right. Many vases are also given handles, though no examples are shown here. Today, the shapes of vases have evolved from the conventional ones to modern designs and shapes.
The vase has also developed as an art medium unto itself. The ancient Greeks famously used vases to depict scenes. It has since been developed and in 2003 the winner of the Turner Prize was Grayson Perry, for vase art.