Marine mosaic (central panel of three panels from a floor)

Roman, Eastern Mediterranean
Imperial Period
A.D. 200–230


Findspot: Turkey, Hatay (formerly province of Syria), Seleucia Pieria (port city of Antioch)

Catalogue Raisonné

Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 134-135.

Dimensions

Overall: 291.5 x 287 cm (114 3/4 x 113 in.)

Accession Number

2002.128.1

Medium or Technique

Mosaic (stone and glass tesserae)

On View

Antioch Mosaic Gallery (Gallery 214A)

Collections

Europe, The Ancient World

Classifications

Mosaics

A floor mosaic of three panels. The central panel features three erotes riding on dolphins and fishing in the sea. Twenty-five recognizable varieties of fish (red and gray mullet, abalone or garfish, colorful wrasse, mackerel, bream, flounder, and many more) as well as a pink shrimp and a clam are depicted in the mosaic against a white ground.

These 3 panels comprised the mosaic pavement of an open courtyard reception space from the “House of the Drinking Contest” in Roman Antioch (modern Antakya). The Erotes face in three directions of the courtyard in which the three part mosaic ensemble was found. Panel B: Central Figural scene; Labeling panels A,B,C follows the orientation of the mosaic in situ from east to west; primary entrance into room is on the east side.

Border of red meander and black and yellow crowstep. Glass tesserae (oranges, yellows, reds, yellow-green, dark blue, bright blues, greens).

Provenance

Found in the House of the Drinking Contest, Seleucia Pieria (port city of Antioch, modern day Samandag); excavated in 1937-39 by the Princeton University Expedition; by 1940: shipped to Dumbarton Oaks, 1703 32nd St., NW, Washington, DC 20007-2961 (Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Collection, D.O. 40.65a-c); purchased by MFA from Dumbarton Oaks, June 26, 2002

Credit Line

Museum purchase and conservation with funds donated by George D. and Margo Behrakis, The Getty Foundation, Jane's Trust, John F. Cogan, Jr. and Mary L. Cornille, Daphne and George Hatsopoulos, the Estate of Dr. Harold Amos, Peter and Widgie Aldrich, Mrs. I. W. Colburn, Mary B. Comstock, The Hellenic Women's Club, Inc., an anonymous donor, Katherine R. Kirk, Peter Vlachos, Mrs. James Evans Ladd, Irene and Grier Merwin, Suzanne R. Dworsky, Mr. and Mrs. Robert K. Faulkner, Francis J. Jackson and Nancy M. McMahon, Meg Holmes Robbins, Otis Norcross Fund, Helen and Alice Colburn Fund, Arthur Tracy Cabot Fund, Charles Amos Cummings Fund, and by exchange from the John Wheelock Elliot and John Morse Elliot Fund, Henry Lillie Pierce Fund, Benjamin Pierce Cheney Donation, Bequest of Benjamin Rowland, Jr., Gift of a "class of young ladies," Museum purchase by contribution, Gift of Barbara Deering Danielson, General Funds, William Sturgis Bigelow Collection, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Wales, Gift of Paul E. Manheim, Bequest of Mrs. May Sheppard Jordan, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William de Forest Thomson, Francis Bartlett Donation, Gift of James Howe Proctor, Gift of Benjamin W. Crowninshield, Gift of the Estate of Dana Estes, Gift of Thomas Gold Appleton, Gift of Edward Perry Warren, Gift of an anonymous donor, Gift of Francis Amory, Gift of J. J. Dixwell, Gift of Edward Austin, Gift of Edward Robinson, Gift of Horace L. Mayer, Everett Fund, Gift of the Misses Norton, Gift of the Misses Amy and Clara Curtis, Gift of Charles C. Perkins, Gift of Mrs. Walter Scott Fitz, Gift of Harold Murdock in memory of his brother, Rear-Admiral J. B. Murdock, Gift of the Estate of Alfred Greenough, and Gift of Edward Southworth Hawes