Funerary plaque

Archaic Period
about 625–610 B.C.

Catalogue Raisonné

Fairbanks, Vases (MFA), no. 557.2.


Overall: 38.2 x 39.3cm (15 1/16 x 15 1/2in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Painted terracotta

On View

Daily Life in Ancient Greece Gallery (Gallery 212A-B)


The Ancient World



The pinax is one of a series, and likely was installed to the left of the MFA 27.146, which shows the prothesis , the laying out of the body on a funeral couch (kline). This clay plaque (pinax) features three women, facing towards the right. They are barefoot, draped in voluminous garments cinched at the waist, and raise their arms to their heads, in a mourning gesture familiar in Attic iconography since the eighth century B.C. The plaque’s edges have a plain black border.

The style of painting has elements from the Proto-Attic style (in particular the use of outline for feet, arms, and faces), and also adopts elements of the new black-figure (which began in Athens ca. 625 B.C.) technique for the dress and hair.


By date unknown: with Jacob Hirsch, 31 Quai du Mont-Blanc, Geneva (said to have been found in Athens); purchased by MFA from Jacob Hirsch, February 3, 1927, for $ 1,250.00 (the total price for MFA 27.146 and 27.147)

Credit Line

Charles Amos Cummings Fund