Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
1983.83
Title
Decorative Frieze with Wolves Chasing Gazelles
Classification
Architectural Elements
Work Type
architectural element
Date
c. 300-500 CE
Places
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Africa, Egypt (Ancient)
Period
Byzantine period, Early
Culture
Coptic
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/287358
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Limestone
Dimensions
actual: 27 x 66.5 cm (10 5/8 x 26 3/16 in.)
Provenance
Professor Nelson Goodman, Weston, MA, Collector.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Nelson Goodman
Accession Year
1983
Object Number
1983.83
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.
Descriptions

Published Catalogue Text: Stone Sculptures: The Greek, Roman and Etruscan Collections of the Harvard University Art Museums , written 1990
152

Decorative Frieze with Wolves Chasing Gazelles

The stone is seemingly good-grain limestone with some overall surface chipping, especially around the edges.

A large, scrolled vine fills this fragment, creating three separate circular zones. The beginning of another vine can be seen in the upper left corner. In the rightmost zone can be seen the heads and necks of two charging wolves and the head, neck, and torso of a third wolf. In the middle zone, a fourth wolf has caught the hind leg of a gazelle in his teeth. The gazelle, whose front half is in the left zone, turns its head and looks back and up over its shoulder. The hind part of a second gazelle can be seen fleeing to the left.

This work, currently installed in the stairwell of the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, is an exceptionally fine and sensitive rendering of a figured vine rinceau, a motif that occurs widely throughout the eastern Mediterranean from the Roman period on. Compare the example from the Malcove Collection, University of Toronto, M82.313 (Friedman, 1989, p. 259, no. 173).

Cornelius Vermeule and Amy Brauer

Publication History

Cornelius C. Vermeule III and Amy Brauer, Stone Sculptures: The Greek, Roman and Etruscan Collections of the Harvard University Art Museums, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1990), p. 166, no. 152

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu