Fragment of a frieze: a man, perhaps wounded

Imperial Period
about 2nd century A.D.

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 297; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 113 (additional published references).


Height (max.) x width (max.): 25 x 18 cm (9 13/16 x 7 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Marble, probably from Mt. Pentelikon near Athens

Not On View


The Ancient World



The fragment is broken on all edges. The background, roughly finished in a considerable area, is about 3.5 cm thick; the figure’s chest sticks out from this another 6 cm Traces of cement indicate the fragment was used as building material. The sculptured surfaces are somewhat damaged, and now quite clean.
The man is nude and of powerful physique. His right arm was raised, as if he were leaning on a spear or similar object. The left arm was drawn across the lap and could have been covering a wound on the right thigh. Outlining with a running drill and drill points in the areas between left arm and leg suggests a date in the second century A.D. This fragment is work of considerable quality in the best sense of routine decorative sculpture. It would seem to come from an architectural frieze rather than a sarcophagus in high relief, such as, for example, the Attic-Asiatic Hippolytos sarcophagus in Istanbul.

Scientific Analysis:

University of South Florida Lab No. 8416: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.7 / delta18O -6.7,

Attribution - Mt. Pentelikon. Justification - C and O isotopes, fine grain


Presumabley from Athens, mainland Greece, or the islands.

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William de Forest Thomson