Deaccessioned September 24, 2015

Sarcophagus fragment: walking Dionysiac figure

Roman Imperial

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 257.


20 x 11 cm (7 7/8 x 4 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Dolomitic marble from the Greek Island of Thasos


The Ancient World


Coffins and sarcophagi

The fragment has been broken irregularly on all its edges; it has also been sliced diagonally across the back, most of which is still bedded in Renaissance (?) wall plaster. An attractive yellow incrusted surface still remains.
The figure appears to be a satyr possibly walking (or even prancing) to the left, head perhaps turned back and a pedum held diagonally across his chest in the raised left hand. The right leg seems to be elevated sharply and was probably poised on a rock, in the position of the Lysippic Poseidon. His right arm hangs across his right thigh. The figure was well muscled, and the quality of carving is excellent, dating in the third century A.D.

Scientific Analysis:
Marble has been scientifically tested with X-Ray Diffraction and determined to be Dolomitic.
Harvard Lab No. HI215: Isotope ratios - delta13C +3.35 / delta18O -3.23, Attribution - Thasos-Cape Vathy, Justification - Dolomitic by XRD.


1876, gift of Charles Callahan Perkins (b. 1823 - d. 1886), Boston, to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 1, 1876)

Credit Line

Gift of Charles C. Perkins