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Identification and Creation
Object Number
1977.216.2186
Title
Funerary Stele
Classification
Sculpture
Work Type
sculpture
Date
c. 14-68 CE
Places
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe
Period
Roman Imperial period, Early
Culture
Greek
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/312256
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Greek island marble
Technique
Carved
Dimensions
65.5 x 38.8 x 10 cm (25 13/16 x 15 1/4 x 3 15/16 in.)
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Transfer from the Department of the Classics, Harvard University, Gift of Massachusetts Historical Society, 1910
Accession Year
1977
Object Number
1977.216.2186
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions

Published Catalogue Text: Stone Sculptures: The Greek, Roman and Etruscan Collections of the Harvard University Art Museums , written 1990
106

Funerary Stele

The relief is broken away and is missing at a rough line of the two adults' heads. The figures are in the inset relief. The area below is blank, prepared for the inscription. The boy's face is somewhat weathered.

A man in a himation stands facing, at the left; a woman in a chiton and himation stands next to him. At the extreme right is a small boy in a short tunic and a cloak around his left shoulder. The boy holds a handful of fruits in his cloak with his left hand.

The tombstone belongs to a widespread class of funerary monuments that represents the last manifestations of tradition going back through the big East Greek Hellenistic tomb reliefs to the last Attic stelai of the decade before their traditional curtailment in 317 B.C. Tombstones such as this example were commonly found in the Greek islands (the Aegean), Crete, sometimes North Africa including Egypt, and, above all, the cities along and inland on the western coast of Asia Minor. They also appear in Macedonia and Thrace, but these regions soon changed to a form of monument with busts or just heads in rectangular and circular (tondo) frames.

A good representative collection of these reliefs is in Leiden, including examples from Smyrna and Ilion on the plain of Troy (Bastet, Brunsting, 1982, I, pp. 86-93, nos. 163-173, II, pls. 44-47).

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. 118, no. 106

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